| IRS Warns Taxpayers of Numerous Tax Scams Nationwide; Provides Summary of Most Recent Schemes
IR-2016-164, Dec. 8, 2016
- As tax season approaches, the Internal Revenue Service, the states
and the tax industry reminded taxpayers to be on the lookout for an
array of evolving tax scams related to identity theft and refund fraud.
tax season, there is an increase in schemes that target innocent
taxpayers by email, by phone and on-line. The IRS and Security Summit
partners remind taxpayers and tax professionals to be on the lookout for
these deceptive schemes.
it's during the holidays or the approach of tax season, scam artists
look for ways to use tax agencies and the tax industry to trick and
confuse people," said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. "There are warning
signs to these scams people should watch out for, and simple steps to
avoid being duped into giving these criminals money, sensitive financial
information or access to computers."
marks the fourth reminder to taxpayers during the "National Tax
Security Awareness Week." This week, the IRS, the states and the tax
community are sending out a series of reminders to taxpayers and tax
professionals as part of the ongoing Security Summit effort.
Some of the most prevalent IRS impersonation scams include
- Requesting fake tax payments
- Targeting students and parents and demanding payment for a fake "Federal Student Tax"
- Sending a fraudulent IRS bill for tax year 2015 related to the Affordable Care Act
- Soliciting W-2 information from payroll and human resources professionals
- Imitating software providers to trick tax professionals
- "Verifying" tax return information over the phone
- Pretending to be from the tax preparation industry
you receive an unexpected call, unsolicited email, letter or text
message from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here are some of the
tell-tale signs to help protect yourself.
The IRS Will Never:
- Call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method
such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer or initiate
contact by e-mail or text message. Generally, the IRS will first mail
you a bill if you owe any taxes.
- Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
- Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
If you get a suspicious phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money, here's what you should do:
- Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.
the web for telephone numbers scammers leave in your voicemail asking
you to call back. Some of the phone numbers may be published online and
linked to criminal activity.
- Contact TIGTA to report the call. Use their "IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting" web page or call 800-366-4484.
it to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the "FTC Complaint Assistant"
on FTC.gov. Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" in the notes.
- If you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS directly at 800-829-1040.
If you receive an
unsolicited email that appears to be from either the IRS or an
organization closely linked to the IRS, such as the Electronic Federal
Tax Payment System (EFTPS), report it by sending it to email@example.com.
IRS also provides a variety of resources for tax professionals about
security threats posed by identity theft issues targeting the industry
through its Protect Your Clients; Protect Yourself campaign.
and Tax Professionals can help spread the word on this week's messages
using the hashtag #TaxSecurity in social media platforms.Read full article.
Scientists discover the link between energy drinks and blood pressure level
drinks have always been a choice of beverage for those who want to keep
it up and stay up. But these drinks, like any other synthetic and
formulated drinks, come with side effects. Energy drinks have been found
to cause heart diseases, unhealthy behavior, and attention problems in
children and may leave you sleepless. There is a new finding that links
energy drinks with your blood pressure level and increase the risk of
study was conducted at Mayo Clinic and to be presented soon at American
College of Cardiology showed results that non-frequent caffeine
drinkers who drank energy drink experienced a higher blood pressure
level increase than those who does. According to another research at the
American Heart Association's Epidemiology and Prevention/Nutrition,
Physical Activity and Metabolism 2013 Scientific Sessions, energy drinks
really increases blood pressure and disturb heart natural rhythm.
the study conducted by the American College of Cardiology, they gave
commercially available energy drinks or a placebo drink to 25 healthy
young adults between ages 19-40 and observed the changes that may happen
in the heart rate and blood pressure. The heart rate and blood pressure
are recorded before and 30 minutes after they drank the energy drink or
placebo drink. They were also compared between participants who do not
drink caffeinated products or those who consume less than 160 mg of
caffeine per day and those who are regularly drink caffeinated drunks.
Results show that those who consumed the energy drink experienced an
increase in the blood pressure level. But those who consumed placebo
drinks did not experience that much of a rise in the blood pressure
level. An increase in the blood pressure was most evident in the
participants who do not regularly drink caffeinated drinks.
effects of the energy drink to the heart rate and blood pressure are
also more evident to people who are older which might have a higher risk
to these side effects. Also, people with an existing medical condition
might also experience a higher increase in the blood pressure level
after consuming energy drink.
real culprit to these side effects has not been identified
specifically. Most studies are hitting the fact that energy drinks
contain caffeine but other components in the energy drink might be the
cause of these side-effects other than caffeine. But medical experts say
that even with these findings against energy drinks, it is still safe
to consume them from time to time. Further research still needs to be
done in order to specify and verify the results that had been presented
in these studies. But caution must be observed when consuming these
because excessive drinking of energy drinks might result to a higher
risk than what has been found in these studies. It is still better to
drink moderately or at safe levels in order to avoid a worse medical
physical activity is good for everyone's health! Physical activity is
anything that gets your body moving. Aim for 2 hours and 30 minutes of
moderate activity each week.
If you haven't been active before, start at a comfortable level.
Once you get the hang of it, add a little more activity each time. Then
try getting active more often.
What kinds of activity should I do?
To get all the health benefits of physical activity, do a combination of aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities.
("air-OH-bik") activities make you breathe harder and cause your heart
to beat faster. Walking fast is an example of aerobic activity.
activities make your muscles stronger. Muscle-strengthening activities
include lifting weights, using resistance bands, and doing push-ups.
and physical activity fall into four basic categories-endurance,
strength, balance, and flexibility. Most people tend to focus on one
activity or type of exercise and think they're doing enough. Each type
is different, though. Doing them all will give you more benefits. Mixing
it up also helps to reduce boredom and cut your risk of injury.
we've described each type separately, some activities fit into more
than one category. For example, many endurance activities also build
strength. Strength exercises also help improve balance.
or aerobic, activities increase your breathing and heart rate. They
keep your heart, lungs, and circulatory system healthy and improve your
overall fitness. Building your endurance makes it easier to carry out
many of your everyday activities.
- Brisk walking or jogging
- Yard work (mowing, raking, digging)
Strength exercises make your
muscles stronger. Even small increases in strength can make a big
difference in your ability to stay independent and carry out everyday
activities, such as climbing stairs and carrying groceries. These
exercises also are called "strength training" or "resistance
- Lifting weights
- Using a resistance band
- Using your own body weight
exercises help prevent falls, a common problem in older adults. Many
lower-body strength exercises also will improve your balance.
- Standing on one foot
- Heel-to-toe walk
- Tai Chi
exercises stretch your muscles and can help your body stay limber.
Being flexible gives you more freedom of movement for other exercises as
well as for your everyday activities.
- Shoulder and upper arm stretch
- Calf stretch
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| Identity Theft Protection Service For RAUS Members
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Just go to our website at www.raushome.com
and click on the Discounts
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From there, go to the AllClear ID login page and input the following
Activation Code: "raus". This will allow you to register and receive
the discounted rate.
Watch out for Craigslist scams
Kim Komando , Special for USA TODAY
you use Craigslist to buy or sell locally, you know that you have to be
careful. Three new scams are hitting Craigslist. Here's what you need
to know so you don't become the next victim.
2. Rental or home listings
John Darr of New Albany, Ind., listed his home for sale, he began
noticing suspicious activity. People were coming to his house and
walking all around the property. Some were even coming right up to his
front porch and peering through the windows.
Darr later learned
that scammers had posted his home as a rental property on Craigslist,
describing it as a cozy three-bedroom, two-bathroom house for only $600
per month. All the applicants had to do was send in their personal
information, along with a security deposit.
But Darr's home was not for rent. He wasn't fully aware of what had happened until he received a strange message on Facebook.
message asked ... was I selling the house or was I renting the house?
Because she had some concerns that somebody was running a scam with my
name," Darr explained.
The Craigslist post made several false
claims. One said the property owners were leaving the country for three
or four years on a mission trip. The scammer offered false contact
information and said he would correspond with interested applicants.
Through this correspondence, the scammer was able to obtain personal
information from his victims and even arrange for money transfers.
here are some red flags. If you're unable to meet with the owner or
some type of property manager at a rental property, and if no one can
meet you for a tour of the home, that's one. Another is an extravagant
story that explains why the owner will be away. And you should never be
asked to wire money to your new landlord, especially before you've had
the chance to tour the property.
If you find a property that you believe is listed as part of a scam, report it to law enforcement.
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