PHOENIX — Rosie Lee Trotter, of Phoenix, says scammers took her first stimulus payment and she's afraid a slow-moving Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will let them steal the second payment too.
Since last spring, the 91-year-old told ABC15 she has been calling the IRS for updates about when she might be paid. Finally, one day she said an IRS agent told her that her Social Security number has already been used.
"They said, 'Rosie Lee, somebody filed their income tax and put you on there as a dependent and you're not qualified to get that stimulus check,' (is) what that boy said to me. And I said, 'well, I don't have no children,'" she explained.
Trotter had planned to use last year's stimulus payment to fix her teeth.
"I need new ones," she said. Last time she had to put the $469 procedure on a credit card because, "I don't have that kind of money."
She was able to pay it off but doesn't want to go into any more debt for the next procedure.
Trotter said the IRS told her the fraud would delay her payment but after hours of calling and waiting, Trotter was fed up.
"I call them and I call them and then they put me on hold for half a day," she said.
In September, Trotter sent a certified letter asking the IRS for help. While she did get a confirmation of receipt, she says nothing has happened.
When ABC15 contacted IRS spokesman David Tucker, we were referred to the website for the local Taxpayers Advocate Service. That directed us to a phone number, which directed us to another phone number with an automated message saying agents were too busy to take the call and to try the IRS website, again.
"I need people to help me," she said. "Trying to get help."
ABC15 contacted the offices of Arizona Senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema for help.
Sinema's office told ABC15 it would contact her and "work directly with the IRS on her behalf to resolve the situation."