A scam targeting seniors and persons receiving disability benefits made its way through Jefferson County the past few months, with residents of Port Arthur impacted at a significant rate. Those perpetrating the scam duped victims by promising them access to a federal stimulus check, allegedly administered to all Social Security recipients, even though no such provision exists. Victims supplied the scammers with copies of their driver’s license, Social Security number, and banking information.
In reality, the scammers were using the ill-gotten personal information to file bogus income tax returns in the victims’ names, keeping half of the proceeds for a company that uses many monikers including Syam Tax Services.
The number of victims impacted by the scam has prompted local authorities to arrange a large meeting set for Sept. 10, 6 p.m., at the Bob Bowers Civic Center, 3401 Cultural Center Drive, in Port Arthur. Mayor Bobbie Prince called for the meeting, and the Better Business Bureau of Southeast Texas and the Port Arthur Police Department are assisting in the event.
According to Jay Sheppard of the local BBB, the event is an informal gathering that will address the needs of potential victims of the scam.
“It is just something we’re doing to get those that may have been affected some help, so that they can get paperwork done that they need and to answer any questions they might have at this point,” Sheppard said.
Officials will be available to provide important information on the steps to take for those who have been affected by this form of identity theft.
For more information, contact the Port Arthur Police Department at (409) 983-8600 or the BBB at (409) 835-5348.