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Archives 07-19-2006
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County Bluegrass Festival hits all the right notes
Van pulling trailer overturns on Highway 111 Tuesday

IRS warns public about e-mails seeking personal information

 

County Bluegrass Festival hits all the right notes

Darren Oliver/OCN staff
Cloggers entertain the crowds during the Overton County Bluegrass Festival, held this past weekend on the Livingston square in Livingston. The annual event drew large crowds despite scattered rainshowers and high heat.

Shadetree picking was as plentiful as the on-stage playing during the 3-day bluegrass festival.

A glassblower demonstrates his craft in one of the many booths surrounding the Bluegrass Festival.

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Van pulling trailer overturns on Highway 111 Tuesday

A Livingston man escaped serious injury around 9:15 a.m. Tuesday, July 18 when his 2000 Chevrolet van overturned on Highway 111. According to reports, Richard Alan Wallen Jr., 37, was driving south on Highway 111 when, just north of Hwy 111 Mini Mall, the trailer he was pulling began to fishtail, and he lost control of the van. The trailer was loaded with a power post hole digger, lumber, and 20 bags of Quikrete, much of which was scattered along the roadway in the crash. Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Jimmy King investigated the incident.

 

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IRS warns public about e-mails seeking personal information

Internal Revenue Service saw an increase in complaints in recent weeks about bogus e-mails that appear to be from IRS but are designed to trick recipients into disclosing personal and financial information that could be used to steal the recipients' identity and financial assets.

The agency is reminding taxpayers to be on the lookout for these e-mails.

IRS spokesman Dan Boone said, "The IRS does not send out unsolicited e-mails asking for personal information. Don't be taken in by these criminals."

Since November, 99 different scams have been identified, with 20 of those coming in June, the most since 40 were identified in March during the height of the filing season.

Many of these schemes originate outside the United States. To date, investigations by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration have identified sites hosting more than two dozen IRS-related phishing scams. These scam websites have been located in many different countries, including Argentina, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Canada, Chile, China, England, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Poland, Singapore, and Slovakia, as well as the United States.

The current scams claim to come from IRS, tell recipients that they are due a federal tax refund, and direct them to a website that appears to be a genuine IRS site. The bogus sites contain forms or interactive webpages similar to IRS forms or webpages but have been modified to request detailed personal and financial information from the e-mail recipients.

In addition, e-mail addresses ending with ".edu", involving users in the education community, currently seem to be heavily targeted.

IRS does not send out unsolicited e-mails or ask for detailed personal information via e-mail. Additionally, IRS never asks people for PIN numbers, passwords or similar secret access information for their credit card, bank, or other financial accounts.

Tricking consumers into disclosing their personal and financial information, such as secret access data or credit card or bank account numbers, is fraudulent activity that can result in identity theft. Such schemes perpetrated through the internet are called "phishing" for information

The information fraudulently obtained is then used to steal the taxpayer's identity and financial assets. Typically, identity thieves use someone's personal data to empty the victim's financial accounts, run up charges on the victim's existing credit cards, apply for new loans, credit cards, services or benefits in the victim's name and even file fraudulent tax returns.

When IRS learns of new schemes involving use of the IRS name or logo, it issues consumer alerts warning taxpayers about the schemes. IRS also has established an electronic mailbox for taxpayers to send information about suspicious e-mails they receive that claim to come from IRS. Taxpayers should send the information to phishing@irs.gov.

More than 7,000 bogus e-mails have been forwarded to IRS, with nearly 1,300 forwarded in June alone.

IRS' mailbox allows taxpayers to send copies of possibly fraudulent e-mails involving misuse of the IRS name and logo to IRS for investigation. Instructions on how to properly submit one of these communications to IRS may be found on the IRS website. Enter the term "phishing" in the search box in the upper right hand corner. Then open the article titled "How to Protect Yourself from Suspicious E-Mails" and scroll through it until you find the instructions.

Following these instructions helps ensure that the bogus e-mails relayed by taxpayers retain critical elements found in the original e-mail. IRS can use the information, URLs and links in the bogus e-mails to trace the hosting websites and alert authorities to help shut down these fraudulent sites.

Due to the volume the new mailbox is expected to receive, IRS will not be able to acknowledge receipt or reply to taxpayers who submit their bogus e-mails. The phishing@irs.gov mailbox is only for suspicious e-mails and not for general taxpayer contact or inquiries.

For information on preventing or handling the aftermath of identity theft visit the Federal Trade Commission's consumer website at www.consumer.gov/idtheft/index.html) and the OnGuardOnLine website at onguardonline.gov/index.html. Click on "Topics" to find the identity theft and phishing areas on OnGuardOnLine.

For information on identity theft prevention and victim assistance in relation to tax administration visit the IRS Identity Theft webpage, which can be found on the IRS website. Enter the term "identity theft" in the search box in the upper right hand corner.

For schemes other than phishing, report the fraudulent misuse of the IRS name, logo, forms, or other IRS property by calling the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration's toll-free hotline at 1-800-366-4484.

 

 

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Overton County News
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Livingston' Tennessee 38570
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