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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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Anonymous on Feb 14, 2008 at 07:21 PM
    to everybody out there i work for hr block and yes you have a pin and usually it is the last four of your social and then you have the option to change it. so get it right. the boy will be took care of and if we are a rip off we sure are always busy. edited by Staff
  • by Anonymous Location: atoka on Feb 14, 2008 at 08:57 AM
    I do agree I really believe H&R Block is a rip off just general taxes they charge way too much for 15 minutes worth of work I will be doing my own from here on out.
  • by Oklahoma on Feb 13, 2008 at 08:26 PM
    HEY ANONYMOUS... you are wrong.. I have also received the "Card" and you do NOT have a pin number, you do NOT have to show an ID, you have to have NOTHING to use it. Sounds like someone not so trusting works for H&R Block! I will never use them again, I had to have my tax forms redone and they were about $3,000 off!!!
  • by Anonymous Location: Durant on Feb 13, 2008 at 08:26 PM
    It's important to report any card that has been compromised to the bank that backs the card. The card banks have software that can correlate where stolen cards and accounts have been used to determine where the source of the original breach.
  • by waiting Location: denison on Feb 13, 2008 at 05:16 PM
    i just had mine done at h&r block cost me $114,no rapid refund,or credit card,notta,just simple taxes..i wouldnt do the card thing either,taking chances of loosing it..they all know how everyone is in a hurry to get money...so they come up with all the ways to make more off everyone,just mail it in and wait for the check.
  • by A Location: denison on Feb 13, 2008 at 04:52 PM
    sad story, also this has'nt been the first time I have heard it.. just easier just to go to taxact.com and answer easy yes and no questions and file it for free and get you refund back in a week! also dont understand why all the people pay a huge fee to get there money back that day when if they waited a couple weeks they could save a bunch of money and have more money in there pocket, thats crazy!!
  • by Greg Location: Indiana on Feb 13, 2008 at 04:51 PM
    Correcting some post. Those H&R debit MasterCard can be used with & without a pin. What happened to MasterCard zero liability policy? It should apply in this case. He needs to go H&R block and fill out a special form to claim the zero liability. The bank will investigate, then issue him a new card. Not all MasterCard/Visa prepaid debit cards or giftcards come with a pin.
  • by formerardmoreite Location: oklahoma on Feb 13, 2008 at 03:52 PM
    I am curious, has anyone checked to see if this was a "inside job"? I just read online last week this very thing was going on in Florida with Liberty Tax service. They have all your information on file. It is very easy to do. Because of this story I will be getting my refund the old fashion way. I'll wait on my check.I know these companies say these cards are safer than cash. What do you think now? They are just cheaper for them to issue instead of a check. MasterCard says you can PURCHASE INSURANCE on your own money!! Are you kidding me?? I have an idea. Why don't YOU supply the insurance as a gesture we can trust doing business with you?
  • by Jennifer on Feb 13, 2008 at 02:24 PM
    If you have simple taxes you're just as well off to do them yourself through Turbo tax online for FREE and free filing. Had my money in about a week that way and didn't have to spend $65 or whatever it is now to have them done by someone else.
  • by j Location: ardmore on Feb 13, 2008 at 01:02 PM
    H&R Block will rip you off. My wife and I found that out last year.
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