Friday, March 18, 2016

Alert: Avoid phone scammers this tax season

I'd like to warn you about a series of scams my constituents have reported to my office. Seeking to exploit the tax filing season, scammers are impersonating IRS agents or other government officials to cheat people out of their money or obtain personal information like social security numbers. The scams take various forms, but one of the most common is that a scammer calls people, declares that they have an outstanding tax bill, and demands immediate payment over the phone, often threatening some kind of police or court action if they fail to comply.

If you receive a call like this, hang up immediately and report the scammer to the Treasury Inspector General on this page.

These are ruthless con-artists who are stealing money from anyone they can fool or bully into cooperating with them. If someone calls you claiming to be from the IRS, keep in mind that the IRS will never:

Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  • Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
Here are links for more information about these scams:

Friday, March 4, 2016

California farmers stand tall

Capay Valley, a rural area northwest of Sacramento, recently had a big turnout to celebrate its 101st annual Almond Festival. This caught my eye because extreme environmental groups have blamed California farmers in general and almond growers in particular for the state's water crisis. Of course, they rely on grossly distorted statistics to make their case, but that doesn't seem to bother many of the media outlets reporting on growers supposedly using too much water.

Like Central Valley farmers, the people of Capay Valley are defying their misguided critics. California farmers help feed the nation and ask little in return except for an adequate water supply. And even though that is no longer being provided, the state's agricultural communities continue to take pride in what they do and how they do it. Our state's farming families are steadfast and dependable—they have earned our gratitude.  
Separately, the Nunes Digest is updated for your weekend reading here.