The IRS continues to warn consumers to guard against scam phone calls from thieves intent on stealing their money or their identity. Criminals pose as the IRS to trick victims out of their money or personal information. Here are several tips to help you avoid being a victim of these scams:
•Scammers make unsolicited calls. Thieves call taxpayers claiming to be IRS officials. They demand that the victim pay a bogus tax bill. They con the victim into sending cash, usually through a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. They may also leave “urgent” callback requests through phone “robo-calls,” or via phishing email.
•Callers try to scare their victims. Many phone scams use threats to intimidate and bully a victim into paying. They may even threaten to arrest, deport or revoke the license of their victim if they don’t get the money.
•Scams use caller ID spoofing. Scammers often alter caller ID to make it look like the IRS or another agency is calling. The callers use IRS titles and fake badge numbers to appear legitimate. They may use the victim’s name, address and other personal information to make the call sound official.
•Cons try new tricks all the time. Some schemes provide an actual IRS address where they tell the victim to mail a receipt for the payment they make. Others use emails that contain a fake IRS document with a phone number or an email address for a reply. These scams often use official IRS letterhead in emails or regular mail that they send to their victims. They try these ploys to make the ruse look official.
•Scams cost victims over $23 million. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, or TIGTA, has received reports of about 736,000 scam contacts since October 2013. Nearly 4,550 victims have collectively paid over $23 million as a result of the scam.
The IRS will not:
•Call you to demand immediate payment. The IRS will not call you if you owe taxes without first sending you a bill in the mail.
•Demand that you pay taxes and not allow you to question or appeal the amount you owe.
•Require that you pay your taxes a certain way. For instance, require that you pay with a prepaid debit card.
•Ask for your credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
•Threaten to bring in police or other agencies to arrest you for not paying.
If you don’t owe taxes, or have no reason to think that you do:
•Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.
•Contact TIGTA to report the call. Use their “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page. You can also call 800-366-4484.
•Report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on FTC.gov. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.
If you know you owe, or think you may owe tax:
•Call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you.
Phone scams first tried to sting older people, new immigrants to the U.S. and those who speak English as a second language. Now the crooks try to swindle just about anyone. And they’ve ripped-off people in every state in the nation.
Stay alert to scams that use the IRS as a lure. Tax scams can happen any time of year, not just at tax time. For more, visit “Tax Scams and Consumer Alerts” on IRS.gov.
Each and every taxpayer has a set of fundamental rights they should be aware of when dealing with the IRS. These are your Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Explore your rights and our obligations to protect them on IRS.gov.
The Huntingtown area has been experiencing stolen vehicles and thefts from vehicles. The Calvert County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Bureau is working vigorously to identify those responsible in the thefts. Please make sure you are locking your vehicles and removing all valuables within the vehicles.
Detective Quinn has been assigned this investigation, and requests any person with information related to these crimes to contact her. Detective Quinn can be contacted via phone at 410-535-2800 extension 2596 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Solvers at 410-535-2880.
CALVERT COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE
30 CHURCH STREET, PRINCE FREDERICK
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Mobile Vet Center provides
needed resources to Southern Maryland the third week of each month. The
mobile vet center serves as an access point for veterans to learn about benefits,
eligibility issues and to help veterans make appointments for counseling with local
VA counselors. Visit the mobile vet center on these days:
Third Wednesday monthly
10 a.m.-3 p.m., Walmart
Third Thursday monthly
10 a.m.-3 p.m., Waldorf West Branch Library, Waldorf, Md.
Third Friday monthly
10 a.m.-3 p.m., Walmart Prince Frederick, Md.
The Calvert County Sheriff’s Office is aware that citizens in Calvert County are being solicited via an automated phone message regarding unpaid tax bills or outstanding debts. Please do not provide the callers any information as it has been deemed a scam. It is advised that citizens do not return the call to the listed number while this incident is being investigated.
A $2.6 million expansion project is now underway at the Mt. Hope Convenience Center that will improve traffic flow, increase services and enhance safety at the site.
The 12-month project, overseen by the Calvert County Department of Public Works, will enlarge the center and include new traffic patterns allowing the exchange of full bins without disrupting convenience center users. The center remains at its 96 Pushaw Station Road location in Sunderland.
New features at the center will include covered recycling areas and raised platforms adjacent to the bins affording easier access for offloading. The center will remain open throughout construction, though residents may experience periodic delays as work continues.
The salt dome at the site will be relocated to the area where the current convenience center stands.
CALVERT COUNTY NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH
Calvert County Sheriff’s Department………………… (410)535-2800
Deputy Wes Beisel (Beiselww@co.cal.md.us) (410)535-2800, ext. 8417
Maryland State Police………………………………… (410)535-1400
Det/Sgt. Jeffrey Linger, MSP (Jeffrey.Linger@maryland.gov) (410)535-1400
Free Call From Cell Phone to MSP………………….. #77
Deputy Greg Cameron, Calvert Co. Sheriff’s Office… (443)532-0000