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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

How I Dodged an IRS Tax Scam

By Cameron Huddleston




Here's what I did to avoid becoming a victim when someone called and tried to rip me off


JewishWorldReview.com | One morning last week when I answered the phone, a woman at the other end of the line told me she was with the IRS and that I was being investigated. My immediate reaction was panic. But as the caller started telling me why I supposedly was in trouble, I quickly realized that scammers -- not the IRS -- were targeting me.


Before I recount the conversation, let me emphasize that the best course of action to take when a scammer calls is to hang up. Period. I stayed on the line out of professional curiosity. I hoped to gain more insight into the nature of the con that I could share with my readers -- and I did. Here's how I recognized the scam.


The woman on the phone told me that a variety of charges were being filed against me for failing to pay taxes and attempting to defraud the IRS. She asked if I had a criminal attorney to represent me. "No," I answered. Then she said I owed $4,000. None of what she was saying added up, but it was easy to see how her accusations and efforts at intimidation could rattle many an unsuspecting taxpayer.


I was fortunate because I knew that what the woman was saying sounded familiar to a scam I had written about in November 2013, IRS Warns of a New Phone Scam. The IRS had issued a warning that scammers were calling people, telling them that they owed money and threatening that they would be arrested if they didn't pay. To resolve the issue, victims typically were being told to pay the money owed to the IRS through a pre-loaded debit card or a wire transfer. But the scammer didn't get that far with me.


From past run-of-the-mill dealings with the IRS and articles I've written for Kiplinger, I knew that the IRS initiates contact with taxpayers by mail, not by phone. And I knew that if I truly were being audited, the process would have begun with a letter and that I would've been asked to supply the IRS with records. I certainly wouldn't be charged with anything before actually having an opportunity to make a case for any questionable items on a tax return.


So I asked the woman if the IRS had attempted to contact me by mail. She said it had. I followed up by asking to what address had letters been sent. She rattled off my former address. When I told her that wasn't my current address and that I had received other correspondence recently from the IRS (tax forms, not audit notifications) at my current address, she hung up.


I felt victorious but realized how easily someone without my knowledge of tax scams could have been duped. Tax fraud often tops the Federal Trade Commission's list of biggest identity-theft complaints. And the IRS sees countless scams meant to trick taxpayers into revealing personal information.


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That's why it's important to be aware of tell-tale signs of IRS-related scams:


Callers claiming to be IRS agents. As I mentioned above, the IRS initiates contact with taxpayers by mail, not by phone. If you get a call from someone claiming to be with the IRS, don't reveal any personal information or credit-card information because the IRS doesn't ask for payments over the phone. Instead, hang up and call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 to see if an agent has a legitimate need to contact you.


Unsolicited e-mails from the IRS. Not only will the IRS not initiate contact with taxpayers by phone, but also it won't use e-mail, text messages or social media. So do not reply to unsolicited e-mails or messages supposedly from the IRS, open any attachments (which could contain viruses) or click on any links (which could take you to a fraudulent Web site). Forward all suspect e-mails to phishing@irs.gov

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Cameron Huddleston is an online editor at Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine.



All contents copyright 2014 The Kiplinger Washington Editors, Inc. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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