MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A woman is facing charges after Memphis Police say she cashed a tax refund check that did not belong to her.
According to reports, on March 17, the victim filed a theft report, saying that her check had been delivered to the wrong address. When the victim went there, the check was gone.
The victim did her own investigation and discovered that the check had been cashed at Toarmina’s Grocery & Market in north Memphis. The store owner gave MPD the original check– which was signed and had a fingerprint on it, police say.
The owner also had video footage of the suspect negotiating the check and a photo of the ID they provided. The suspect used a fake ID with the victim’s name. She also signed the victim’s signature.
The check was valued at $4,436, according to MPD.
Through fingerprint processing and video footage, police identified the suspect as Nabrea Tillman.
Tillman is charged with theft of property $2,5000-$10,000, identity theft and forgery $2,500-$10,000. She is set to appear in court Tuesday morning.
Daniel Irwin with the Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South said this is not uncommon, and that’s why protecting your personal information is important.
“This is the time of year where you need to be concerned about two different things. This is where we differentiate between the two, you need to be concerned about scams, right because identity theft is a big thing but you also need to be worried about fly-by-night tax preparers,” Irwin said.
He encourages everyone to always make sure to fully review the tax preparers’ credentials.
“Be really wary of spectacular promises. If a tax preparer promises you a larger refund than the competition, that’s always going to be a really big red flag, and also think of the availability of the tax preparer. You want to know that if something goes wrong that this person is still going to be around,” Irwin said.
Irwin also said it’s important to remember no one from the IRS will reach out to you through social media like Facebook or Instagram.