The Internal Revenue Service today warned consumers to be on the lookout for a new email phishing scam. The emails appear to be from the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service and include a bogus case number. The fake emails may include the following message: “Your reported 2013 income is flagged for review due to a document processing error. Your case has been forwarded to the Taxpayer Advocate Service for resolution assistance. To avoid delays processing your 2013 filing contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service for resolution assistance.” Recipients are directed to click on links that supposedly provide information about the “advocate” assigned to their case or that let them “review reported income.” The links lead to web pages that solicit personal information.
Taxpayers who get these messages should not respond to the email or click on the links. Instead, they should forward the scam emails to the IRS at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit the IRS’s Report Phishing web page. The Taxpayer Advocate Service is a legitimate IRS organization that helps taxpayers resolve federal tax issues that have not been resolved through the normal IRS channels. The IRS, including TAS, does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email, texting or any social media. For more on scams to guard against see the “Dirty Dozen” list on IRS.gov.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has, for the first time, designated April as national “Distracted Driving Awareness” month. Across the country, a campaign will remind motorists, “U Drive. U Text. U Pay,” which is aimed at saving lives. In Oregon, from 2008 – 2012, 13 people were killed in crashes involving drivers who admitted or were witnessed using a handheld mobile communication device.
Troy E. Costales, Safety Division administrator for the Oregon Department of Transportation said they want motorists to be more focused on driving, especially with nice weather on the way when more people will be out on the roadways not only in cars, but on motorcycles, bicycles and more pedestrians.
Distracted driving isn’t limited to those who text or talk on a phone. During that same five year period in Oregon, 65 people died in crashes involving any kind of “distracted driver” – these distractions can include paying attention to passengers, eating or even grooming. In fact, distraction is anything that diverts the driver’s attention from the primary tasks of navigating the vehicle and responding to critical events. Continue reading
On 01-30-2014, at about 12:06 pm, LCPD responded to the Tanger Outlet Mall on a suspicious person call. The Manager of Zumiez called LCPD and reported that a male and female had just been in the store and had attempted to make a purchase with a Visa Gift Card that was declined when swiped through the store’s credit card machine. The manager reported that the male had tried to get him to enter the Visa number manually into their credit card machine. The manager refused and phoned the police as something just didn’t seem right.
LCPD Officers quickly located the male, 27 year old Donovan Stieff from North Dakota and began an investigation that led to Stieff being taken into custody on attempted theft charges. As police officers were investigating the call, they were contacted by other merchants of Outlet mall who reported that the couple had made charges and attempted to make charges using VISA Gift Cards. Upon further investigation, police located the female, 28 year old Samantha Rautanen of Arizona and the couple’s vehicle which was parked at the Outlet Mall. A search of the car and suspects uncovered numerous forged VISA Gift Cards. Numerous stolen credit card numbers and new merchandise that was purchased with forged cards in Lincoln City and Newport was also recovered. Continue reading