One cannot say the IRS scam is back, as it never left. Scammers remain where the pickings continue to be good. Apparently there are those among us who are ripe to be plucked.

I personally received two IRS scam calls last week. I see that these worthless, shiftless, walking examples of human fertilizer have become so lazy that they don’t even participate personally in their own scams.

It’s all done by robo calls and a recording, telling the target that they have a pending case and telling them they will suffer bank and property forfeitures if they do not call a given telephone number and arrange settlement.

In this way, particularly as hundreds of thousands of robo calls are made nationally, the scammers need only sit back and wait for the most gullible among us to call them! What a racket!

How normal people of average intelligence can fall for scams such as this continues to amaze me, as they are so obviously phony.

IRS reminds the public they can easily know when a supposed IRS caller is fake. While we’ve gone over these before, these hints are worth repeating.

There are six primary things the IRS will never do that scammers always do. Watch for these.

The IRS will NEVER:

• Call to demand immediate payment, nor will they call about your taxes without first having mailed you a bill.

• Demand that you pay taxes without first giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.

• Require you to use a specific payment method for taxes, such a prepaid debit card. Only a scammer will do this.

• 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.

• Use a recording to advise you of taxes owed or to demand payment. Any recording is a sure scam.

If you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS asking for money, do the following:

• If you owe taxes or think you might owe, call the IRS at 800-829-1040. Legitimate IRS workers can help you with a payment issue.

• If you know you don’t owe taxes, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for tax administration at 800-366-4484, or

• SIMPLY HANG UP ON THE ROBO CALL!

Because of the digital world in which we live, I would be remiss not to mention that the IRS will never use unsolicited email, text messages or any other social media to address your personal tax issue.

Seasonal thefts on seasonal upturn

All categories of theft have seasons during which the crime is more prevalent.

During the holiday season, robberies, theft from persons and vehicle and residential burglaries occur at higher rates, largely due to the influx of money-laden shoppers and purchases left in vehicles and homes in plain view. Prevention is the key to lowering one’s chances of being victimized. Take it, Lock it, Hide it!

During the summer months, property crimes such as identity theft, vehicle theft, residential and vehicle burglaries all increase. This is due to many variables, including vacationers leaving residences unoccupied, an increased number of outdoor activities and marauding, unsupervised youngsters seeking thrills or easy money.

Prevention is the answer to these crimes as well. House sitters, neighborhood watch programs, police home checks and vigilant neighbors are key to preventing property crimes.

Robbery suspect

The Harker Heights Police Department’s investigation of an aggravated robbery at Pittman’s Cleaners is ongoing.

Police are looking for the man who robbed the dry cleaning business July 1 in the afternoon hours.

According to a news release, the robber entered the business located in the 700 block of Indian Trail just before 4:45 p.m. and produced a black semi-automatic handgun and robbed the establishment, taking an undisclosed amount of money.

The robber left the area in an unknown direction, last seen in the 700 block of Indian Trail.

The suspect is described as a black male, approximately 5 feet 10 inches, to 6 feet tall, with a stocky build. He was last seen wearing a “boonie” hat, black shirt and unknown colored pants. The suspect covered his face with a black and white bandana.

Anyone having information about this crime is urged to contact the Harker Heights Police Department, Criminal Investigation Division at 254-953-5400.

John Vander WERFF is a 30-year veteran of law enforcement, with a decade in city and county law enforcement and 20 years with state police.

John Vander Werff is a 30-year veteran of law enforcement and a Copperas Cove resident.​

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