THE BRONX - Since hearing rumors about free stimulus money, thousands of people have been lining up outside the office of a Bronx tax preparer, only to leave empty-handed.
Like many others, Dolores Quintano headed to E & M Multi Services on Westchester Avenue in hopes of getting a payout. Upon arrival, she was told that the company only prepares taxes, but she was allegedly promised a tax refund of more than $1,000.
However, when News 12 The Bronx brought Quintano to an IRS-run program, a volunteer tax preparer told her that she was entitled only to a $63 refund.
Later, an IRS agent informed Quintano that she had been a victim of identity theft because a tax return was filed using her Social Security number and information without her consent or signature.
News 12 The Bronx had confirmed that E & M may have filed at least two more fraudulent tax returns, but the owner says he has never received any complaints from his clients.
The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs and the New York City Department of Taxation and Finance acknowledged they're received complaints about the company, but they have declined to specify the nature of the complains. The IRS would not confirm if it's investigating E & M.
When News 12 called the debit card company whose cards are being handed out at E & M, there was a recorded message informing clients that the Department of Taxation and Finance has frozen their funds pending an investigation.
Taxpayers who suspect they have been victims of identity theft are being asked to call the IRS at 1-800-908-4490.