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  • Geebo 10:00 am on March 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Homeland Security, , , , , , tax,   

    Tax collection, Homeland Security, and yet another puppy scam 

    Tax collection, Homeland Security, and yet another puppy scam

    It’s time again to bring you some more scams that are happening around the country that could ultimately impact your area and possibly someone you know.

    First up is a twist on the typical IRS scam. In the typical IRS scam, someone will call a victim on the phone pretending to be from the IRS trying to pressure the victim into making an immediate payment on a tax bill that doesn’t actually exist. The flaw in this scam is that the IRS rarely calls a taxpayer to settle any taxes owed. Instead, the IRS is known for mailing out any delinquent tax notices. That’s where this new scam being reported out of Sullivan County, Tennessee takes it up a notch. The scammers are mailing out letters claiming to be from a “Tax Enforcement Department” which then directs potential victims to call a phone number to make a payment. If you receive a letter like this and you feel like you may owe the IRS some money always call the IRS directly at (800) 829-1040.

    Speaking of government agencies, our next scam involves possible the most fear-inducing branch of the government and that’s the Department of Homeland Security. The DHS recently released a warning stating that scammers were calling people posing as the DHS by spoofing official DHS phone numbers. That way when someone receives the call it appears to be from DHS itself when in reality it’s just a scammer. The scammers are said to be claiming that the people they call have been victims of identity theft and ask the victims for personal information or threatening people with immigration offenses if they don’t make a payment right then and there. Some of these scammers are even sending out emails using an uscis.org email address. That is similar to but not the web address of DHS which is actually uscis.gov If you receive one of these phone calls or emails, the DHS requests that you call them at 1-800-323-8603.

    Lastly, we have an online puppy scam that has an added level of cruelty added to it. Luckily, no puppies actually exist in this scam if you can call that lucky. An online puppy scammer is said to be taking money from victims over PayPal as a deposit for a purebred puppy. The phony breeder then directs all of their victims to an address in Atlanta, Georgia to pick up the fictitious puppy. According to FOX 5 Atlanta, people have driven from as far away as Detroit. The man who lives at the Atlanta address has had to tell all the people who showed up on his doorstep that they’ve been scammed. Buying puppies online is always a risky venture as there are a plethora of scams involving puppies, some of which end up with puppies being bred in backyard puppy mills. When searching for a new pet for your family you should always deal with a locally licensed breeder or your local shelter. You’re less likely to run into scammers this way.

     
  • Geebo 11:18 am on October 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Pasadena, tax   

    Is there a Netflix tax coming soon? 

    Is there a Netflix tax coming soon?

    Since the start of the commercial internet there have been runors and urban legends about certain taxes. There was one that said that the US Postal Service was going to tax every email sent in order to make up for lost revenue. That turned out to be untrue. Then there were rumors that the goverment would be adding taxes to the internet itself, however the government passed the Internet Tax Freedom Act which prevented that. Now there is talk of a tax on Netflix. Is this another urban legend or false alarm? Maybe not.

    With cable prices rising out of control many households are cutting the cord and using online streaming services like Netflix. The more that people start using Netflix rather than cable the more revenue that cable loses. Most cable companies have financial agreements with municipalities to make them the exclusive cable provider of that location. So in turn the more that people Use Netflix that’s money that’s being taken out of the pockets of city governments. At least one city is looking to make up that revenue and Netflix is their target.

    The city of Pasadena, California, is considering taxing Netflix to make up budgetary shortfalls. The proposed tax would only be a dollar but that’s not really the point. This kind of tax requires a public vote which would more than likely defeat the tax. However, the city is saying that the public approved this tax back in 2008 when they voted for a utility tax.

    If Pasadena were allowed to enact this tax it would set a dangerous precedent. Want to watch YouTube instead of TV? That could be a tax. Want to use an antenna to get free broadcast TV? That could be a tax too. Want to use our own site, Geebo? Well that could be a tax to make up revenue that’s being lost from local newspapers.

    The whole cord cutting movement was born out of the fact that consumers have limited choice when it comes to cable providers. If municipalities were to allow multiple cable companies in their area to promote competition then maybe cable priced wouldn’t be so astronomical. Unfortunately cities are very unwilling to give up well established revenue streams without taxing something new that they probably don’t even begin to understand.

     
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