Security Update – How to Spot and Avoid Income Tax Scams
Filing your taxes can be stressful on its own, but today it’s more important than ever to be aware of cybercriminals preying on unsuspecting taxpayers. These criminals count on you being confused by the tax forms coming in the mail, and the amount of information the IRS can request. They use this confusion to try and obtain your personal and financial information. Here are some of the most common tax scams, along with ways to safeguard yourself this tax season:
Phishing is a scam using unsolicited email or a fake website, posing as a legitimate website, to trick you into providing personal and financial information. The email or fake website can also be used to infect your device with malware. These emails and fake websites can even mimic the IRS. Cybercriminals use the information collected to commit identity, or financial theft. Phishing is an effective scam during tax season because many people feel comfortable providing personal information to the IRS.
It is important to keep in mind that the IRS will not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. They also won’t send you an email about a bill or refund out of the blue. Don’t click on anything claiming to be from the IRS that takes you by surprise. Official IRS websites have URL addresses beginning with www.irs.gov, so if an IRS site you are looking at has a different address, don’t enter any information, no matter how official it looks. If you receive an unsolicited email that appears to be from the IRS, report it by sending it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
IRS Impersonation Telephone Scam
Another common scam occurring during tax season involves callers pretending to be IRS agents. These callers try to convince you to pay an outstanding tax debt that doesn’t exist. They can sound very convincing when they call, and may use fake names and IRS identification badge numbers to sound official. They may even threaten you with jail time or garnishment if you do not immediately settle the debt by sending a wire transfer or prepaid debit card. The caller typically alters the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling and leaves urgent callback requests if the phone is not answered.
The IRS will never call taxpayers demanding payment on the spot, nor will they call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill. The IRS will not demand payment without giving you the opportunity to question, or appeal the amount you owe. They will not require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card, and will not threaten to bring in law enforcement to have you arrested for not paying. If you receive a call like this, hang up immediately and contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484 to report the call.
Return Preparer Fraud
While the majority of tax return professionals provide honest, high-quality service, there are dishonest preparers who prepare tax returns with the intent of committing refund fraud or identity theft. These scam artists may use flyers, phone calls and/or emails to lure victims with the promise of larger than normal refunds. Once they have your personal information, they may falsify your tax return to obtain a huge refund, which they deposit into their bank account, or use the information on your return to steal your identity. Common victims of this scam are people who are not required to file a tax return, non-English speaking individuals, and the elderly, but anyone can be a potential victim.
Be on the lookout for anyone promising inflated refunds. You should be suspicious of anyone who promises a large refund without looking at your records, a person who asks you to sign a blank return, or someone who charges fees based on the amount of the refund. Reputable tax preparers will not cold call you and promise a large return without reviewing your records. Before choosing a tax preparer, you should ask for their IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number, or PTIN, and verify it with the Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers at www.irs.gov.
The Bottom Line. Never respond to unexpected emails or other communications that are supposedly from the IRS. Never provide personal information to someone who calls you out of the blue, even if they claim to be from the IRS. Only provide personal information to the IRS when you are the one who initiates the call. Only provide personal information to a licensed tax professional after you have verified them with the IRS. Following the tips mentioned above will help you from becoming a victim of an income tax scam.
Stater Bros. to Open First Supermarket in Pasadena
Press Release here
San Bernardino, California (January 11, 2018) – Stater Bros. Markets is excited to announce that a retail space located at 1390 N. Allen Ave. (northeast corner of Allen Ave. and Washington Blvd.) in Pasadena will soon become a Stater Bros. supermarket. The Company will take possession of this location in May 2018 ensuring a smooth transition from the current occupant. At 42,000 sq. ft., this retail space will then undergo a major remodel, and reopen as a state-of-the-art Stater Bros. supermarket in fall 2018.
The supermarket will feature:
A Full Service Fresh Meat Department with Stater Bros. famous certified Meat Cutters ready to serve you
A Full Service Fresh Seafood Department with friendly seafood experts to assist with selection
FujiSan Handcrafted Sushi made in-house daily
A Full Service Deli including Cleo & Leo exclusive recipe and always fresh hand-breaded fried chicken, specialty sandwiches and wraps in addition to a full line of prepared party trays
Full Service Hot Bakery with a full selection of Artisan breads and rolls, specialty single serve desserts, Cleo and Leo line of classic cakes and in-house cake decorators to assist with all special occasion needs
A Relaxing Seating Area with USB charging outlets and access to free Wi-Fi
Floral Department for that special gift of fresh flowers, plants or floral arrangements
Garden Fresh Produce Department featuring more than 1,000 items with expanded organic selections and fruit cut fresh daily
Energy-efficient LED lighting in addition to glass doors on refrigerated cases to reduce energy consumption
A décor scheme reflecting Pasadena’s rich history
“We are delighted to welcome Stater Bros. to the City of Pasadena. Stater Bros. Markets provides products and services consistent with the high level of quality the community expects,” Pasadena City Councilmember Margaret McAustin said.
“Stater Bros. is a Company that proudly celebrates tradition and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to establish roots in such a historic and beautiful community,” added Stater Bros. CEO Pete Van Helden. “We look forward to a good working relationship with the City of Pasadena as the extensive remodel process commences and are thrilled to acquaint Pasadena customers with Stater Bros.’ fresh offerings and exemplary customer service when we open this fall,” Van Helden concluded.
Stater Bros. was founded in 1936 in Yucaipa, California, and has grown steadily through the years to become the largest privately owned Supermarket Chain in Southern California and the largest private employer in both San Bernardino County and Riverside County. The Company currently operates 171 Supermarkets, and there are approximately 18,000 members of the Stater Bros. Supermarket Family. Since 2008, Stater Bros. and Stater Bros. Charities have contributed more than $80 million in food and funds to local Southern California communities. For more information, visit staterbros.com.
STATER BROS … PROUDLY SERVING SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA FAMILIES FOR 81 YEARS
The 16th annual Southern California Linux Expo also known as SCALE 16X will take place on March 8-11, 2018 at the Pasadena Convention Center. SCALE 16X expects to host 150 exhibitors this year, along with nearly 130 sessions, tutorials and special events. It is the largest community open source and free software conference in North America and draws around 3,500 attendees annually. A wide variety of tech professionals and enthusiasts attend SCALE, from beginners to industry leaders.
Registration for Scale 16X
Tickets will be available Fall 2017. There are several different types of tickets:
Expo Pass: $20 – Provides access to the exhibit hall and free events. The exhibit halls are open on Friday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday.
SCALE Pass: $85 – Provides access to all SCALE sessions, the exhibit hall, and free events.
Southern California Linux Expo
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