Women allege tax scams and fraud from local LLC

NOW: Women allege tax scams and fraud from local LLC

SOUTH BEND, Ind.--The ABC57 newsroom received tips from several women alleging they were scammed out of money by Upfront Tax Services, LLC. One woman shared how she believes she was tricked.

And she's not alone, claiming a group of about 20 women is gearing up to file a police report this coming Monday.

Rhea Fillmore went to file her 2022 taxes but found them especially confusing this year.

"Usually, I fill out my own taxes," Fillmore said. "But, I was afraid that it would be too complicated for me and she offered the help."

She went to her Facebook friend, a tax preparer, who goes by the name Louise Amber on her profile, who offered to do her taxes for her for a fee of $500.

"I sent her copies of my W2s, my socials, my kids' socials, my ID, everything," Fillmore said. "She plugged it in, gave me numbers."

She said all business was done over Facebook Messenger.

"I have never signed a document, anything," she said. "None of us have."

Fillmore paid Amber the $500 in cash, she said, after getting her advance return.

She provided ABC57 with her bank statement, showing she withdrew money on Jan. 13, and a Facebook chat between Fillmore and Amber the same day, arranging to meet to get the money.

But then, she got this letter from the IRS, saying her tax return was being reviewed.

"The numbers that she gave me, I continued to enter into Where's My Refund," she said. "Every time, I got a warning error that all my information was incorrect."

Fillmore saw a Facebook post accusing the owner of Upfront Tax Services, Tysharae Jones, of stealing.

"I started to get suspicious," Fillmore said. "So I made a post as well. And that is when I finally received my PDF documents of my return."

After going through her documents, she noticed the $500 fee was already taken out of her return.

"So I basically double paid her," Fillmore said.

And her signature was allegedly forged, according to Fillmore.

"My email was incorrect, that was not my email," Fillmore said. "I never signed those documents. It was a forged signature of mine."

ABC57's Annie Kate knocked on the door that Upfront Tax Services, LLC, is registered, but got no answer.

And Fillmore said she takes this slight against her incredibly personally.

"When you're taking from me, you're really taking from my kids that I worked really hard for, to provide for," Fillmore said."I don't have help. That refund was the help I needed for these kids."

ABC57 left a voicemail for Amber and tried getting in touch with Tysharae Jones, but have not heard back.

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