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PA Treasury Alerts Residents to Telephone Scam
PA Treasury Alerts Residents to Telephone Scam
The Pennsylvania Treasury has issued a warning about a phone scam targeting state residents. As part of the scam, callers fraudulently claiming to be from Treasury threaten to arrest residents if they don’t immediately provide credit card or other financial information to pay unpaid state taxes.
The Pennsylvania Treasury does not collect taxes or seek payments via phone and has no authority to arrest individuals. In addition, any services that Treasury provides to the public, including processing unclaimed property, are free of charge. Anyone receiving a suspicious call or email should terminate contact immediately and refrain from sharing personal financial information, including bank account or credit card numbers. Please report any suspicious calls to the local authorities.
SEE Something SEND Something
You can report suspicious activity directly to the Pennsylvania State Police by using the "See Something Send Something" app on your mobile device.
See Something Send Something is the preeminent nationwide suspicious
activity reporting (SAR) tool for citizens to help in the fight against
terrorism. See Something Send Something has information to educate you on
what to look for and when to submit suspicious activity reports along with
how to receive important alerts. The SAR tool connects you to a nationwide
network of Intelligence Centers by routing tips to the correct center for
Constituents can help the PSP in their fight against crime and terrorism. Below are additional tips that will help law enforcement do their job:
DEP Offers Rebates for Alternative Fuel Vehicles
The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is offering rebates to Pennsylvania residents to assist with the cost of purchasing an alternative fuel vehicle.
These rebates are funded by the Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant Program, which is supported by a gross receipts tax on utilities. To qualify, the vehicle must be registered in Pennsylvania, operated primarily in-state, and be purchased no more than six months before the rebate application is submitted.
Large-battery vehicles are eligible for a rebate of $2,000 (examples include models such as the Nissan Leaf, Ford Focus, Chevy Volt, and similar models from BMW and Tesla). DEP is also offering rebates of $1,000 for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and battery-electric vehicles (examples include the Toyota Prius plug-in, Ford C-Max Energi, Ford Fusion, and Honda Accord).
Rebates of $1,000 are also being offered for natural gas, propane, hydrogen or fuel-cell vehicles, such as the CNG-powered Honda Civic or any new CNG powered car or pickup truck. CNG original equipment, manufacturer retrofits, or certified conversions to CNG or propane are also eligible for the $1,000 rebate. A $500 rebate is available for electric motorcycles and scooters.
There are only a limited number of rebates available at $2,000. The rebate program offered will be reassessed upon payment of the first 250 rebates at $2,000 or June 30, 2016, whichever occurs first.
For more information on the types of eligible vehicles and to apply for a rebate, click here.
IRS Tax Scam/Consumer Alert
As the next tax season approaches, the IRS encourages all constituents to be aware of recent or ongoing tax scams:
Tax Preparer Phishing Scam
A bogus email asks tax professionals to update their IRS e-services portal information and Electronic Filing Identification Numbers (EFINs). The links that are provided in the bogus email to access IRS e-services appear to be a phishing scheme designed to capture your username and password. This email was not generated by the IRS e-services program. Disregard this email and do not click on the links provided.
For more information on this scam, see IR-2015-31, IRS Warns Tax Preparers to Watch out for New Phishing Scam; Don’t Click on Strange Emails or Links Seeking Updated Information.
IRS-Impersonation Telephone Scam
An aggressive and sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, has been making the rounds throughout the country. Callers claim to be employees of the IRS, but are not. These con artists can sound convincing when they call. They use fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. They may know a lot about their targets, and they usually alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling.
Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting.
Or, victims may be told they have a refund due to try to trick them into sharing private information.
If the phone isn't answered, the scammers often leave an “urgent” callback request.
Note that the IRS will never: 1) call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill; 2) demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe; 3) require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card; 4) ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone; or 5) threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
Email Phishing Scam: "Update your IRS e-file"
The IRS has been alerted to a new email phishing scam. The emails appear to be from the IRS and include a link to a bogus website intended to mirror the official IRS web site. These emails contain the direction “you are to update your IRS e-file immediately.” The emails mention USA.gov and IRSgov (without a dot between "IRS" and "gov"), though notably, not IRS.gov (with a dot). Don’t get scammed. These emails are not from the IRS.
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 IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information.
Don't fall victim to tax scams. Remember — if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Information is the best way to avoid the pitfalls of these “too good to be true” tax scams. For more information, see:
No matter how some things are sliced, they're still baloney. If someone tells you that you don't have to pay taxes, check out The Truth About Frivolous Tax Arguments. This IRS.gov exclusive addresses some of the more common false legal arguments made by those opposed to compliance with the federal tax laws. Each contention is briefly explained, followed by a discussion of the legal authority that rejects the contention. The second section deals with frivolous arguments encountered in collection due process cases. The final section illustrates penalties imposed on those pursuing frivolous cases.
Identity Theft Scams
The IRS has issued several consumer warnings about the fraudulent use of the IRS name or logo by scamsters trying to gain access to consumers’ financial information in order to steal their identity and assets. Scamsters will use the regular mail, telephone, fax or email to set up their victims. When identity theft takes place over the Internet (email), it is called phishing.
The IRS does not initiate taxpayer communications through email. Unsolicited email claiming to be from the IRS, or from an IRS-related component such as EFTPS, should be reported to the IRS at email@example.com.
Additionally, clicking on attachments to or links within an unsolicited email claiming to come from the IRS may download a malicious computer virus onto your computer.
Learn more about identity theft.
Learn how to protect your personal information.
You may also report instances of IRS-related phishing attempts and fraud to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484.
Veterans Encouraged to Connect with DMVA for Assistance with Obtaining Benefits, Services
The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs encourages Pennsylvania veterans to connect with them via their new online Pennsylvania Veterans Registry at www.register.dmva.pa.gov for assistance with obtaining veterans benefits and services.
The Pennsylvania Veterans Registry is an online application that allows veterans to connect with DMVA to request information related to valuable state benefits, programs and services offered by the agency. The registry features responsive design technology to make it accessible on mobile devices and computers. A registrant’s information will be shared with the county director for veterans affairs and other relevant Commonwealth of Pennsylvania agencies in order to facilitate local connections that aid in providing service to the veteran.
A Conversation About Retail Energy Choice in Pennsylvania
Watch " A Conversation About Retail Energy Choice in Pennsylvania" featuring special guest Gladys Brown, Chair of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, and Ritchie Hudson, the Retail Energy Supply Association's Pennsylvania state chair.
This RESA-produced half-hour educational program explains what retail energy choice is and how it benefits consumers and the environment. It aired May 24, 2015 on the Pennsylvania Cable Network, a public affairs programming provider.
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