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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Don't Be a Victim: IRS warning about phone scams


IRS Repeats Warning about Phone Scams


WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration continue to hear from taxpayers who have received unsolicited calls from individuals demanding payment while fraudulently claiming to be from the IRS.

Based on the 90,000 complaints that TIGTA has received through its telephone hotline, to date, TIGTA has identified approximately 1,100 victims who have lost an estimated $5 million from these scams.

"There are clear warning signs about these scams, which continue at high levels throughout the nation,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “Taxpayers should remember their first contact with the IRS will not be a call from out of the blue, but through official correspondence sent through the mail. A big red flag for these scams are angry, threatening calls from people who say they are from the IRS and urging immediate payment. This is not how we operate. People should hang up immediately and contact TIGTA or the IRS.”

Additionally, it is important for taxpayers to know that the IRS:
 
  • Never asks for credit card, debit card or prepaid card information over the telephone.
  • Never insists that taxpayers use a specific payment method to pay tax obligations
  • Never requests immediate payment over the telephone and will not take enforcement action immediately following a phone conversation. Taxpayers usually receive prior notification of IRS enforcement action involving IRS tax liens or levies. 

Potential phone scam victims may be told that they owe money that must be paid immediately to the IRS or they are entitled to big refunds. When unsuccessful the first time, sometimes phone scammers call back trying a new strategy.

Other characteristics of these scams include:
  • Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers. They generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves.
  • Scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security number.
  • Scammers spoof the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear that it’s the IRS calling.
  • Scammers sometimes send bogus IRS emails to some victims to support their bogus calls.
  • Victims hear background noise of other calls being conducted to mimic a call site.
  • After threatening victims with jail time or driver’s license revocation, scammers hang up and others soon call back pretending to be from the local police or DMV, and the caller ID supports their claim.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here’s what you should do:
 
  • If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. The IRS employees at that line can help you with a payment issue, if there really is such an issue.
  • If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think that you owe any taxes (for example, you’ve never received a bill or the caller made some bogus threats as described above), then call and report the incident to TIGTA at 1.800.366.4484.
  • If you’ve been targeted by this scam, you should also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at FTC.gov. Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments of your complaint.
 
Taxpayers should be aware that there are other unrelated scams (such as a lottery sweepstakes) and solicitations (such as debt relief) that fraudulently claim to be from the IRS.

The IRS encourages taxpayers to be vigilant against phone and email scams that use the IRS as a lure. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels. The IRS also does not ask for PINs, passwords or similar confidential access information for credit card, bank or other financial accounts. Recipients should not open any attachments or click on any links contained in the message. Instead, forward the e-mail to phishing@irs.gov.

For more information or to report a scam, go to www.irs.gov and type "scam" in the search box.

More information on how to report phishing scams involving the IRS is available on the genuine IRS website, IRS.gov.

You can reblog the IRS tax scam alert via Tumblr.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Arrest Report 8/14/14

 
  • On 8/13/14 around 12:50pm The Missouri State Highway patrol arrested Justin D. Starkey 43 years old of Miami, Oklahoma. He was arrested on 1.) Felony possession of a controlled substance 2.) Driving while intoxicated 3.) Possession of drug paraphernalia. He was booked into the Cass County Jail and later released.

  • On 8/13/14 The Missouri State Highway Patrol arrested 50 year old Robert D. Gillispie of Butler, Missouri. He was arrested on  1.) Felony possession of a controlled substance 2.) Unlawful use of drug paraphernalia 3.) Driving while suspended 4.) No insurance 5.) failed to display valid plates. He was booked into the Bates County Jail and later released.

 
 







Obituary - Gene Arthur Shearer III


Gene Arthur Shearer III, Nevada, passed away Wednesday, July 30, at his home at the age of 35. Arrangements were under direction of Ferry Funeral Home, Nevada, and a visitation service is scheduled between one and two o'clock Saturday afternoon, August 16, at the funeral home, 301 S. Washington Street. Memorials to a fund for the family were suggested.

Missouri Highway Patrol seeks Trooper applicants

The Missouri State Highway Patrol is testing for new troopers. The Patrol is encouraging qualified individuals of all backgrounds to apply, and will offer testing at nine different locations in Missouri. Those who successfully complete testing will be eligible to continue in the selection process for the 101st Recruit Class, scheduled to begin training on July 1, 2015. The application deadline is October 6, 2014.

Locally, testing at Troop A in Lees Summit will be on September 27th. More information is available by clicking here.

Adrian Fire Department called out early this morning

At 4:45 this morning, the Adrian Fire Department responded to the Crystal Manor on a reported smoke detector activation. The first unit arrived on scene at 04:50 and reported that the alarm was activated due to a cooking mishap. On duty staff of the facility took quick action and had the fire out prior to the fire departments arrival. The incident was placed under control at 04:51 There was a very light haze of smoke in the kitchen and dining area so fire fighters used an electric ventilation fan to help clear the smoke from the facility. 

There were no injuries and an evacuation was not needed. The incident was terminated at 05:15.

our thanks to Adrian Fire Chief Gary Dizney

Lost items on 52 highway in Butler

During the lunch hour today a mower and some other items fell out of a blue pickup truck near Sonic in Butler. The truck was last seen heading west- the items are currently by the Sonic driveway.