STATE — The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue is warning residents of a phone scam “...targeting seniors and people with disabilities who receive rebates through the Property Tax/Rent Rebate program.”

According to a release issued by the organization, the scam “...consists of unsolicited telephone calls from a person claiming to work for the Department of Revenue.”

The caller states the recipient's Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program application has been approved, and “...then asks if the recipient would like the rebate directly deposited into a bank account.”

The caller then asks for the recipient to provide their banking information.

The Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program “...is a program that annually provides property tax and rent relief to income-eligible seniors and people with disabilities.”

In 2018, 572,000 received more than $253 million through the program.

Revenue Secretary Dan Hassell states that “...the Department of Revenue does not make unsolicited calls requesting banking information.”

The Department recommends individuals utilize the following tips to help avoid falling victim to this scam:

• The Department does not collect applicants' banking information over the phone. Applicants are required to submit their bank account information on the application form in order to receive rebates through direct deposit.

• The Department does contact applicants via an automated call “...to confirm their information has been received and approved.”

In the event the organization needs additional information, a letter will be sent through the mail.

• Do not give out personal information over the phone to unsolicited callers for any reason.

• Do not trust the number on your caller ID “...even it if appears to be coming from the Department of Revenue or the IRS.

“Scam artists increasingly use a technique known as spoofing to trick caller ID.”

• Legitimate businesses and government agencies “...will not contact you to verify your account information, so ask for a call back number.”

Reach out to your bank or credit card company to confirm the call is legitimate.

• “If you received a scam call, and provided your banking information or other personal information, immediately call your bank to report this potential fraud,” states the Department.