Fraudsters Target Those Who Applied For Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program

State officials have issued a warning.

Provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue:

Acting Secretary of Revenue Pat Browne speaking in April. Credit: PA Internet News Service

Pennsylvania Secretary of Revenue Pat Browne this week issued a warning on a scam that is targeting older Pennsylvanians and people with disabilities who have applied for a rebate through Pennsylvania’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate program.

According to the Pennsylvania Treasury Department, applicants of the program have been receiving calls from scammers who are asking for their bank account information to facilitate the payment of their rebates through direct deposit. The callers falsely claim they are from Treasury as part of this scheme.

“We want everyone to know that the Treasury Department and the Department of Revenue will never call applicants of this program and ask for their bank information,” Secretary Browne said. “No one should give out this sensitive personal information over the phone from an unsolicited caller. If you have any suspicion at all that a call like this is a scam, hang up the phone immediately.”

As a reminder, applicants of the Property Tax/Rent Rebate program have the option of including their banking information on their application forms to receive their rebates through direct deposit. Including this information on the application expedites the payment of your rebate, but it is not required. Applicants who do not include their banking information will be mailed a paper check.

You can check the status of your rebate by using the Where’s My Rebate? tool or by contacting the Department of Revenue through the Online Customer Service CenterOpens In A New Window.

About the Property Tax/Rent Rebate program

The rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older.

Since its inception in 1971, the PTRR program has delivered more than $8 billion in property tax and rent relief to some of Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable residents. The PTRR program is supported by the Pennsylvania Lottery and receives funding from gaming.

It’s free to apply for a rebate, and applicants are reminded that free assistance is available at hundreds of locations across the state, including Department of Revenue district officeslocal Area Agencies on Aging, senior centers, and state legislators’ offices.

As a reminder, applicants must reapply for rebates every year because rebates are based on annual income and property taxes or rent paid in each year. The deadline to apply for a rebate on property taxes or rent paid in 2022 is Dec. 31, 2023.

Starting next year, the Property Tax/Rent Rebate program will be expanded to nearly 175,000 additional Pennsylvanians and the maximum standard rebate will be increased to $1,000 (up from $650). Governor Josh Shapiro recently signed into law a historic expansion of the program, making good on the commitment he made to Pennsylvania seniors, widows and widowers, and people with disabilities during his campaign and in his budget address to ease the burden of rising costs.

In January, the Department of Revenue will release additional information on how eligible Pennsylvanians can take advantage of the expanded program.

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