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IRS scams more common this time of year

It’s tax time again and the scammers are busy. (I could have so much fun with that one statement but I’ll just pass it by for today.) Telephone scams and email phishing are the two most common types of tax scams.

Beware of anyone calling or emailing and claiming to represent the Internal Revenue Service, the agency advises. Callers may claim to be IRS employees on the phone and may even provide names and fake IRS identification numbers. These scammers will claim that money is owed to the IRS and must be paid through a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. Any hesitation or rejection is met with threats of imprisonment, fines, deportation or suspension of licenses.

In a released statement, the IRS says it will never call and demand immediate payment, nor will it request any specific type of payment method, such as a wire transfer. The IRS mails a bill to those owing money and will not accept credit or debit card numbers by phone.

Email is also used for phishing scams to gain personal information from taxpayers, enabling identity theft. These emails may look legitimate and lead to fake IRS sites where visitors can fill in their emails and passwords. The original message may instruct the reader to update his or her “IRS e-file immediately.”

The IRS does not use email to initiate contact with taxpayers. Any emails from the IRS or a taxpayer advocacy panel that mention a tax refund and include links lead to fake websites.

Another scam is in the form of discount tax preparation services. The IRS advises that taxpayers research reputable businesses and tax preparers before handing over personal information. For help in selecting a professional tax preparer, visit http://bit.ly/2kjfK09.

January 26. Assist: The caller states he saw a man enter a neighbor’s yard, pick up a heavy statue and move it from one location to another at 3:53 a.m. in the 700 block of Nevada Way.

Burglary: The caller claims the moving company hired shady people and now they are missing items at 3:19 p.m. in the 1000 block of El Camino Drive.

Thought for the day: Red Bull might give you wings but Jack Daniel’s evidently enables you with night vision and feng shui.

January 27. Suspicious: The caller states someone has been inside the caller’s car, during the night, smoking cigarettes and leaving drug paraphernalia at 8:21 a.m. in the 500 block of Fir Street.

Drugs: The caller believes her teen may have committed some thefts in our area after spotting some prescription bottles with someone else’s name on them at 4:43 p.m. in the 1000 block of Arizona Street.

Thought for the day: A little detective work by dispatch matches the name on the bottle with the name of a recent victim and a cold case warms up.

January 28. Burglary: The caller states the divorce isn’t final but the other party broke in and took items not belonging to the caller at 7:08 a.m. in the 700 block of Aztec Place.

See a person: The caller believes a new shift will have a better answer to his marital troubles at 6:15 p.m. in the 700 block of Aztec Place.

Thought for the day: Nevada is a community property state and those pesky division of property issues will have to be settled in family court divorce proceedings.

January 29. Accident: The caller reports a motorcycle down but the only thing remaining on scene when the officers arrive is the registration certificate at 7:44 a.m. in the area of Denver Street and Nevada Way.

Disturbance: The caller states a man on a bike got in his face and was making threats at 1:31 p.m. in the 500 block of Nevada Way.

Thought for the day: It’s pretty hard to claim there was no accident when your bike is dented and your registration is on scene.

January 30. Animal: The barking is nonstop and the caller is just asking for some peace and quiet at 1:06 p.m. in the 300 block of Roma Lane.

Shots: Several callers report hearing shots fired in the area at 8:42 p.m. in the 1300 block of Georgia Avenue.

Thought for the day: Target shooting behind people’s homes will get you lots of really not-so-fun attention.

January 31. Hazardous material: The apartment heater burned out and the odors are toxic at 9:16 a.m. in the 1400 block of San Felipe Drive.

Burglary: The suspects were spotted leaving and the neighbors have also been burglarized at 12:14 p.m. in the 1500 block of Torrey Pines Drive.

Thought for the day: Keep an eye out for things around your area that just don’t look right.

February 1. Suspicious: The man replacing his water heater was surprised when an elderly female entered his open garage and began to take off her clothes at 1:34 p.m. in the 800 block of Benita Place.

Welfare: The intoxicated woman wants officers to check the welfare of her intoxicated friend to make sure she is not a danger to herself at 8:48 p.m. in the 500 block of Avenue B.

Thought for the day: I guess when you are too drunk to see the person right next to you it might be time to shut it down for the night.

Call of the week: Fight: The “dude” in the dreadlocks wasn’t feeling the love with the other guy so the fists are flying and the even more intoxicated woman will be carrying a shiner. The only one with a license to drive is the one with the shiner so the group will sleep it off and avoid communication whenever possible at 4:20 p.m. Jan. 26 in the 1000 block of Nevada Way.

Tina Ransom is a dispatcher with Boulder City Police Department. She is coordinator of the Boulder City Citizen’s Academy.

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