PORT ARTHUR - By Megan Dillard - Someone contacts you and says you might qualify for federal stimulus money.
In fact, they want to make it easy for you.
So easy they'll file a tax return on your behalf and the money will to straight into your account.
The only catch: you have to give them some personal information: your name, address, social security number, and banking information.
Investigators believe the scheme has victimized enough people, including the elderly and disabled, to warrant a meeting tonight.
Nearly four dozen people listened to representatives from the Port Arthur Police Department and the Better Business Bureau earlier this evening at the Bob Bowers Civic Center.
Law enforcement explained the scam to the public and offered advice for those who believe they've been victimized.
Major Raymond Clark with the Port Arthur Police Department says it's important to warn the public so others don't become victims.
"We have individuals out there who are gaining their information and turning this information into the IRS, getting a check and dividing that money, giving some to them, and the suspects themselves receive the money."
KFDM was at the meeting and spoke with a victim.
The man says a scammer ripped him off and took advantage of his mother.
Theodore Victor, Sr. hasn't filled out a tax return since 2002.
The 61-year-old is disabled and lives on social security benefits.
That's why when he heard that he may qualify for stimulus money from the government, he was willing to participate.
"I called the lady to make an appointment."
The woman asked Victor for his driver license, social security, and banking information.
Victor gave her what she asked for but started to grow suspicious when she stopped answering phone calls.
Two weeks later, he had a deposit in his bank account from the U.S. Treasury.
"The lady says it was stimulus money. Come to find out everything she told me was a lie."
A lie investigators say could jeopardize victor's identity or social security benefits.
"They have to investigate that I didn't do this."
Victor says the IRS explained his return was divided into two accounts.
He received more than $700.
Someone else got nearly $600.
Now, one form at a time, Victor counts out the paperwork he's had to submit to try to right the wrong.
"You have to fill all these forms out, and also, I did fill out a police report."
He's also doing the paperwork for his mother and two other people he knows that fell victim to the scam.
A sense of security stolen; a lesson learned the hard way.
"There's nothing free."
If you have any information about this scam or if you are a victim, call the Port Arthur Police Department, the Better Business Bureau or EasTex Crime Stoppers at 409-724-TIPS.
_________________________________________________________ SOUTHEAST TEXAS - Port Arthur Police believe a number of people in the area who receive Social Security disability payments were ripped off by scam artists.
Watch KFDM News reporter Megan Dillard with more on the story at 10.
Investigators say they've learned that men and women receiving Social Security disability payments have met with people who told them they might qualify for federal stimulus money or educational credits-even if they didn't attend school.
The victims were told they had to provide their name, address, social security number, and banking information.
The victims were then told an income tax return would be filed on their behalf and a refund would be deposited in their account.
The false return creates a number of problems.
The victims may lose their Social Security disability income.
Port Arthur Police and the Better Business Bureau are hosting a meeting Monday night at 6 for anyone who believes they might have been victimized by the scheme.
The meeting is at the Bob Bowers Civic Center.