A 'taxing' ordeal

By: Emi FitzGerald Email
By: Emi FitzGerald Email

SHERMAN, Tex. -- It's a good feeling to get your taxes done early well before the April 15 deadline, but one Sherman man says it's become a big headache, and his refund money is gone. Emi FitzGerald has the details.

Daniel Booker says he feels like his hands are tied. He cannot find out who is responsible for the theft and still has not received his money.

"No one deserves this. Your hard-earned money is yours," Daniel says.

Booker had big plans for his first tax refund. He went to H & R Block, and decided to put his $600 on a new H & R Block debit MasterCard so he could receive his money faster.

"It was really easy at first, and I was really happy about how it worked out, but they got my money and took my money so it kind of stinks now."

Daniel says he spent about $160 on the refund but the card was declined when he tried to make other purchases.

When he and his parents started calling around, they found someone else spent the money instead.

H & R Block advertises the card as "safer than cash" on their website. It comes prepackaged like a gift card. Employees activate it in the store, but it does not include a user name or require any form of identification.

"You’re on the phone for hours with the credit card company to start with, then it's a big runaround, and when you finally do get some information as to what the money went to, you can't find out who did it," Daniel’s father, Scott Booker, said.

Daniel's parents got involved, but companies like MasterCard and T-Mobile say they can't release who holds the accounts without a subpoena.

But police cannot really investigate the crime if they don't know where it happened.

"Why wouldn't they do it then if nobody can catch them!" Scott says.

Daniel cancelled the card. He hopes this does not happen to anyone else and says it turned out to be more trouble than it's worth.

"I honestly don't think anyone should get the card. Just get the check, put it in your own bank account and be done with it."

MasterCard officials say a person could buy insurance on their debit card but our calls to their corporate offices were not returned.

The Bookers have filed a fraud report.

We requested information from H & R Block but still have not received any information.


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