As President Obama works to get his economic stimulus bill passed in the Senate, scam artists are sending taxpayers bogus stimulus checks.

An alert consumer in South Carolina received one in the mail and reported it to that state's Department of Consumer Affairs, which then issued a critical warning about the tax rebate scam to caution people nationwide that these checks are not government issued.

"We're all facing tough times. People are hoping for a miracle, they're hoping for a windfall. They want to make sure that they are registered to receive something," Alice Brooks of the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs said.

But there is nothing to receive right now, with the Senate still debating President Obama's economic stimulus plan.

When you call the toll-free number on the letter, you get recorded information about how you can make thousands of dollars on foreclosed properties, but they want your money and information first. Consumer advocates say don't fall for it.

"Unfortunately when you have money worries and you've got a family to feed, you might be losing your job, you're likely to grasp at any straw and we just hope that people will not fall victim to this. It's an insidious scam and no good will come from it," Brooks said.