In the last few months, hundreds of elderly and disabled Southeast Texans have been scammed out of tens of thousands of dollars, an investigation by The Examiner has revealed. The victims thought they were claiming a portion of federal stimulus funds set aside to assist low-income Social Security recipients, when in fact no such provision exists.

Instead, false tax returns were submitted to the IRS in their names, with roughly half of the ill-gotten refund going to a third party. Once discovered, the victims are on the hook for the entire sum.