LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A Diboll woman is upset after being scammed by a tax service company called 'Syam Tax Services' based in Dallas. She told KTRE that she knew something wasn't right when the company's representative promised several of her friends that they would receive a federal stimulus check for $600, which later turned out to be a false tax return.
80-year-old Betty Murphy and several of her friends say the promise of $600 is the least of their worries now. "What they told us was we had to file by that day. It was October 31st, that was the last day to get your money this year," Murphy said. "And then you can file in January and get another 600. Gee, that's 1200 bucks, who wouldn't go for that?"
Murphy assumed she was signing paperwork for a stimulus and figured there was no way this was a tax return because she hasn't worked in years.
"I assumed it was a stimulus because there was nothing else. She said you could not have worked in the last three years. That was a stipulation," Murphy said.
After looking over her copy of paperwork days later, she noticed a red flag. "I said wait a minute this is not her filing anything, this is giving her permission to give somebody else my information and that really upset me. That's when I really started looking into it," Murphy said.
Searching Syam Tax Services online she came across several articles in The Examiner, a weekly newspaper in Beaumont. It suggests citizens in the Southeast Texas area have been mislead by Syam Tax Services. Murphy immediately called IRS.
She said, "When I first talked to IRS, I called them and I wanted to find out if this was legal because I didn't want something that wasn't mine. The second person I talked to said this is your account and I think that you have the right to know that they are filing on your account and most of the money is going to a Compass Bank in Alabama."
Murphy returned the $600. She was told by an investigator with the Angelina County Sheriff's Office that the case she filed has been turned over to the U.S. Attorney's Office. The U.S. Attorney's Office told KTRE 'we cannot issue a statement on something we do not have a case on or have not indicted.' They've advised tax payers to check with their Better Business Bureau to ensure the organization they are working with is following the law.
Syam faxed Murphy the paperwork that was sent to IRS providing a Lufkin address 1777 N. Raguet ste 222. As it turns out, that address does not exist. The last address in the 1700 block is 1710.