The Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division is warning taxpayers about Child Tax Credit-related scams, which criminals may use to steal money and personal information.
While millions of American families started receiving the advance Child Tax Credit payments last week, criminals were already looking for innovative tactics to take advantage of unwitting victims. Taxpayers should be on the lookout for a variety of phone, e-mail, text message and social media scams targeting families eligible for the credit. Any communication offering assistance to sign up for the Child Tax Credit or to speed up the monthly payments is likely a scam. When receiving unsolicited calls or messages, taxpayers should not provide personal information, click on links, or open attachments as this may lead to money loss, tax-related fraud, and identity theft.
“For the first time, Americans are receiving advance payments of the child tax credit, giving rise to historic relief for millions of working families. Unfortunately, with these payments, there are those who, driven by greed, will try to exploit you for your child tax credit payment,” said IRS Criminal Investigation Acting Special Agent in Charge Corinne Kalve. “Taxpayers need to be aware of these threats and act with caution.”
“Advance payment of the child tax credit will give much needed support to millions of American families. Unfortunately, some individuals see these payments as an opportunity to enrich themselves at the cost of hardworking parents. Along with our partners at IRS, we will do everything in our power to prevent criminals from taking advantage of these families,” Said Scott Erik Asphaug, Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.
Although scammers constantly come up with new schemes to try and catch taxpayers off-guard, there are simple ways to identify if it is truly the IRS reaching out.
The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers via e-mail, text messages, or social media channels to request personal or financial information, even information related to the Child Tax Credit.
The IRS does not leave pre-recorded, urgent, or threatening messages. Aggressive calls warning taxpayers about a lawsuit or arrest are fake.
The IRS will not call taxpayers asking them to provide or verify financial information so they can obtain the monthly Child Tax Credit payments.
The IRS will not ask for payment via a gift card, wire transfer or cryptocurrency.
For taxpayers eligible for advance payments of the Child Tax Credit, the IRS will use information from their 2020 or 2019 tax return to automatically enroll them for advance payments. Taxpayers do not have to take any additional action. Taxpayers who are not required to file a tax return or who have not provided the IRS their information, may visitIRS.gov/childtaxcredit2021 to provide basic information for the Child Tax Credit.
To report suspicious IRS-related phishing and online scams, visit IRS.gov.
Wyden Co-Sponsors Bicameral Bill to Close Homework Gap, Ensure Students have Reliable Broadband Access
Legislation provides $40 billion over five years to extend the FCC’s Emergency Connectivity Fund and enable schools and libraries to continue supporting distance learning and connections
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today co-sponsored legislation close the homework gap by ensuring reliable access to broadband for all. The bill builds on the Emergency Connectivity Fundcreated under the American Rescue Plan and provide schools and libraries with $8 billion a year over five years—for a total of $40 billion—to continue to provide Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers, and internet-enabled devices to students, staff, and library patrons following the coronavirus pandemic.
“In this day and age, access to reliable broadband is critical to doing research and completing homework assignments, so students who cannot count on access to the internet risk falling behind, through no fault of their own” Wyden said. “All students, regardless of their zip code or tax bracket, should have reliable internet access, and this legislation would lay the foundation for a reliable bridge to end the digital divide for young Oregonians.”
The legislation continues the lawmakers’ efforts to close the homework gap facing 12 to 17 million students in the United States who do not have internet access at home and support distance learning after the pandemic is over. Even before the current emergency, students without connectivity were at an educational disadvantage because they could not complete homework assignments that required internet access after class. The coronavirus pandemic only made this situation worse as schools shifted to online learning, leaving students without internet access unable to continue their education.
Under theEmergency Educational Connections Act, a part of the American Rescue Plan, Congress provided a one-time, $7.17 billion appropriation to connect students and library patrons struggling to learn at home. The SUCCESS Act will provide crucial additional funding to ensure that the kids who are finally being connected by the Emergency Connectivity Fund are not disconnected once the original funds run dry.
The bill is also cosponsored by U.S. Senators Ben Ray Lujan, D-N.M., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Bob Casey, D-Pa., Alex Padilla, D-Calif., Cory Booker, D-N.J., Jack Reed, D-R.I., Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Christopher Murphy, D-Conn., and U.S. Representatives Lisa Blunt Rochester, DE, Tony Cárdenas, CA-29, Judy Chu, CA-27, Adriano Espaillat, NY-13, Jesús G. “Chuy” García, IL-04,Raúl Grijalva, AZ-03, Jahana Hayes, CT-05, Sheila Jackson Lee, TX-18, Ro Khanna, CA-17, Barbara Lee, CA-13, Carolyn B. Maloney, NY-12, Betty McCollum, MN-04, Jerrold Nadler, NY-10, Eleanor Holmes Norton, DC, Mark Pocan, WI-02, Ayanna Pressley, MA-07, Bobby Rush, IL-01, Jan Schakowsky, IL-09, Abigail D. Spanberger, VA-07, Thomas R Suozzi, NY-03, Ritchie Torres, NY-15, Nydia M. Velázquez, NY-07, Bonnie Watson Coleman, NJ-12, Peter Welch, VT, and Frederica S. Wilson, FL-24.
7:18pm Some people who were enjoying the sunset from a rock out from a beach in south Lincoln City were apparently not keeping tabs on the tide coming in. When they realized that their rock had become an island they called for help. The Coast Guard and possibly others are heading for the scene off 4009 Highway 101. The Coast Guard at Depoe Bay is likely already enroute to rescue the stranded folks on the rock.
Newport/Oregon Coast Drum Circle continues free concerts
The Newport/Oregon Coast Community Drum Circle will continue its recently revived Summer Celebration performance series Saturday (July 31) with a free outdoor concert and family-friendly, all-ages facilitated drum circle from Noon to 2:00 pm at Newport’s Literacy Park Amphitheater on Olive Street just west of the Newport Public Library.
The combined performance and participatory drum circle — with musical host and drum circle facilitator Chandler Davis, percussionist Sandra Surber, and Special Musical Guests providing the multicultural traditional and indigenous World Beat rhythms — is the second such event since the group resumed live performing after a year and a half of COVID imposed online-only events with a similar event late last month at Yaquina Bay State Park, in Newport.
It’s the private non-profit group’s 14th season of free monthly community drum circles, according to Davis. The performance series, previously presented every summer on the outdoor theater stage at Newport’s now-closed Café Mundo in the Historic Nye Beach neighborhood, is in its 11th year (counting last year’s online version).
Everyone is welcome and kids and pets are encouraged at Saturday’s event. There is bleacher type seating and space on the grass to throw down a blanket and a picnic lunch. Spectators are encouraged to come to just watch and listen. Drummers of all skill levels are encouraged to bring their drums or acoustic handheld percussion and no musical experience is necessary to join in.
Please follow current COVID-19 protocols for masking and social distancing. Recreational drugs, alcohol, and smoking are prohibited in Newport parks as is disruptive activity of any kind at this family-oriented event. Dogs need to be on a leash.
Davis said he is looking for a permanent location for both events. The regular year-round drum circles were previously held in the small glass-enclosed gazebo at Don and Ann Davis Park in Nye Beach, but Davis said “I don’t think anyone is going to feel comfortable anymore with the shoulder-to-shoulder seating in the gazebo. We need to find a space for the winter that allows for better air circulation and social distancing.”
For now, he said, both events will continue – either separately or combined – at least once every month at various locations around the county depending on the availability of venues and sponsors in each area.
The drum circle’s popular weekly World Beat Rhythm Celebration and Virtual Global Drum Circle, USA online program – streaming simultaneously on Facebook Live and Zoom from Davis’s Facebook page since May 2020 – continues in a new 90-minute summer format most Saturdays from 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm with the drum circle’s Thunder & Lightness Trio featuring Terry Filer on the Native American flutes and Special Guests.
For more information or to host or sponsor a drum circle or performance contact Davis directly via email at email@example.com or on Facebook Messenger.