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There is no way to know for sure what this tax person filed for your family member, but more than likely it involved an illegal practice.
The IRS does not simply issue rebates or refunds of any kind to people simply because they are out of work. The IRS does have a credit called the Earned Income Credit (EIC) which allows taxpayers in a low tax bracket to qualify for a refund that is more than the amount they actually owe in taxes. The refund is even larger if that taxpayer has dependent children. In order to be eligible for the EIC, the taxpayer must have had at least some amount of earned income for the year.
The "scheme" that some people will use is to file a false tax return with the IRS and claim that the taxpayer did have some income for the year. Sometimes the filer of the return will also show that the taxpayer had dependent children, even though this may not be the case. What they do is use names and social security numbers of other children who are not being claimed by their parents.
I cannot say for sure that this is what was filed on behalf of your family member, but based on the information you provided, there is a good likelihood that this is what has happened. I highly recommend that if anyone offers to file on your behalf for a rebate, that you check this out thoroughly, as if they file a false return under your name, you could be prosecuted by the IRS for the fraudulent filing of a tax return.
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