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Atlanta woman signs up for quick tax return option. Thieves steal $1,200 from her account in minutes

ATLANTA — An Atlanta woman signed up for a quick tax refund, but shortly after the money was deposited, it was gone.

Channel 2 Consumer Investigator Justin Gray learned that fraudsters made off with more than $1,200.

A lot of tax prep companies are offering similar programs. You can get a fast return when they partner with debit card companies or online wallets to provide return advances and get you your refund faster.

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But fraudsters have taken notice.

Fraudsters got into Yashofana Fleming’s Credit Karam Money account and made 24 transactions in a matter of minutes, stealing all but 14 cents of Fleming’s tax return.

“It was like 12:30 p.m., and they did 24 transactions within like 30 minutes. Like $99, $49, $17, $19, $15, $10,” Fleming said.

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Fleming filed her taxes with TurboTax and went with the option they have been promoting to get a refund fast: Sign up for a Credit Karma Money Account and have the money deposited there.

“They were trying to make changes to my profile immediately,” Fleming said.

Fleming moved some of the money fast when she noticed suspicious activity, but Credit Karma has a $1,000-per-day withdrawal limit, and the criminals cleared out what was left. They even tried to access the bank account tied to her Credit Karma account to pull more money.

“It’s terrifying because that’s my money, you know? I couldn’t get it back,” Fleming said.

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Earlier this month, Gray told you how Douglasville resident Shelly Camp was locked out of her Green Dot account for weeks because of suspected fraud on her account. Green Dot partners with TaxSlayer to also offer fast tax returns and said they are doing extra verification on some transactions to prevent fraud.

More than two weeks after thieves stole from Fleming, Credit Karma finally just returned her money to her account, but her account remains locked. Fleming has no way to actually access the money.

“This was supposed to make it easy to get your refund quickly, get it in your hands. And it’s been the opposite,” Fleming said.

Credit Karma and TurboTax are both owned by the same company, Intuit. Gray heard from officials with Credit Karma after this story aired, saying that they have unlocked Fleming’s account. They also said that while they have confirmed the fraud, “as of now, there’s no evidence this was related to how the member chose to file their taxes and receive their refund.”