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Category Archives for human interest

April Tax Scams

office_calendar_april_15_400_clr_1743This came from the Oregon Attorney General – but I suspect each state is getting its share of scams related to April 15th with federal, state and local taxes dues for many in the United States.

Older persons are perhaps a it more vulnerable for many reasons. So if you know of anyone being pestered by phone about taxes, please help that person find the Attorney General information in their state.

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Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum is warning consumers about a sophisticated phone scam targeting Oregon taxpayers during this tax season

Victims are told they owe money to the IRS or Oregon Department of Revenue and they must pay immediately through a temporary debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to pay, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller becomes aggressive and insulting.

“Oregonians need to be vigilant as the April 15th tax deadline approaches. The IRS and the Oregon Department of Revenue will never ask you to pay with a pre-paid debit card or make a wire transfer,” said Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum.

Other characteristics of this scam include:

  • Scammers use fake names and badge numbers. They generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves.
  • Scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security Number.
  • Scammers spoof the IRS or Department of Revenue toll-free number on caller ID.
  • Scammers sometimes send bogus IRS or Department of Revenue emails to some victims to support their bogus calls.
  • Victims hear background noise of other calls being conducted to mimic a call site.
  • After threatening victims with jail time or driver’s license revocation, scammers hang up and others soon call back pretending to be from the local police or DMV, and the caller ID supports their claim.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS or Oregon Department of Revenue, here’s what you should do:

  • If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at (800) 829-1040 and/or the Oregon Department of Revenue at (800) 356-4222.
  • If you know you do not owe taxes or have no reason to think that you owe any taxes, call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at (800) 366-4484.
  • If you have lost money as a result of this scam, file a complaint with the Oregon Department of Justice online at www.oregonconsumer.gov or by phone at (877) 877-9392.

My Birthday Weekend; You Get The Gifts

It’s my birthday weekend

and you get the presents

 

birthday giftsMy Kindle books are free this weekend [on the 25th and 26th]

Here are the links to those:

You Can Totally Screw Up As A Mom And Still Raise Great Kids

If The 10 Commandments Actually Became Our Law

It’s Not Always Baby Fat

And my new course Stop Stressing About Stress is free for the first 25 people

who read this and sign up – or the weekend ends….

Free for the 1st 25 takers

if the link still works, there are coupons left

ENJOY

 

Januarys, Birthdays, and A Little Rant

birthday

Is it because it is January?

Or is it because my birthday is this month?

 

Every January, I get a five dollar coupon for a local restaurant that has good food.

But I also get mail from a company that wants to sell me cremation services.

Next up, I know I will get the annual blurb from my Medicare advantage program with all the nonsense about how to take care of my aging body.

I gather they send this to everyone as if we are all the same because we happen to be over 65.

It is usually chock full with good information like making sure your floors do not have any clutter on them.

Well, duh! What happens when you have young cats, a puppy, and are a genetic-clutter person?

They also tell me to be concerned if I get depressed and give me a telephone number to call – because we all know that anybody over 65 is bound to get depressed.

Wish instead they offered advice on safety guides for riding your bike when you’re getting older, or a class for making sure you know what you’re doing when you’re skiing, or maybe how to go kayaking or running or something like that – instead of telling me to put bars in my bathroom and be sure to clear my floor.

Maybe if they offered advice about going out and being active and being social they wouldn’t have to worry so much about those grab bars in your bathroom and depression.

And yes I do know about depression, which is why I feel like and say something here. But depression can strike at any age and there are ways to avoid being depressed and two of them are by being active and being social.

That’s why I write this blog, because I know that people over 60, over 65, and over 70 aren’t all sitting home worrying about putting putting grip bars and stuff in their bathrooms or cleaning floors.

They are doing something else with their lives!

Thoughts? Comments?

Thank you.

There’s Something About Portland [Oregon]

 my-moorage

10 years ago I bought a house, actually a floating home, in Portland Oregon.

 

At the time when I was told things would need replacing or work would need to be done in 10 years, and I thought to myself:

“Who cares, I won’t be here.”

FYI – I never stay anyplace more than seven or eight years.”

Well – here we are 10 years later and I am still in that very same house. In fact this is the longest I have stayed put in one house since I moved away from New York City – and that’s 50 years of moving!

There is obviously something about Portland that has kept me here. I had to stop and think about it and I’ve come to the conclusion it’s

  • my neighbors
  • my house
  • the river
  • the city itself
  • the friends I’ve made here
  • the love of beer wine and dogs
  • and lots more

And another thing I do think about as I have aged 10 years since I’ve lived here – is that I feel safe. Moorages are pretty safe, there’s people around most of the time and it’s just a friendly, neighborly situation where we all watch out for each other – so it’s a very safe place to grow old[er.]

The downside, though, of staying put for these 10 years, is that those things that I was told would need fixing – now need fixing.

When you move every seven or eight years, you don’t have to deal with a lot of repairs on houses, new appliances, or other things that might need being done. You go out and buy another house that meets your new requirements.

Well here I am, and I guess it’s time to start remodeling this house,

because frankly – I really don’t feel like moving again.

 

Thoughts? Comments?

Thank you!

Keeping The Brain Sharp As We Age

puzzles and brainsDoing puzzles has been seen as an activity to keep our brains sharp – but a new study shows that puzzles might be enough.

Listening to classical music and doing crosswords is not enough for the over 60s to stay sharp and they must learn new skills, a study found.

Instead people should be doing a course to learn something new, such as digital photography or quilting, to improve their long term memories.

As a crossword puzzle addict since I was a preteen, and a jigsaw addict since I don’t know when, I will never give them up as I feel they keep me sharp. But I do understand the research. Puzzles, at least for me, are not novel….I have gotten really good at guessing what words are the answers or what pieces go where…so they aren’t really taxing my brain – but I do feel they are useful for something.

Yet I also keep learning new things – so maybe my brain is working hard from all that.  I take online courses, learn new technology,  and try new ways of doing old things like my photography.

For the upcoming year, I am creating online courses and will let you know about those and about courses others have created….

Here’s to our brains increasing in 2014!

 

onward to 2014

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