11-14-2019  1:00 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

GOP Mailer to Oregon Voters Mimics US Census Form

The mailers are labeled "2019 Congressional District Census" and solicit donations to Trump's campaign. Voters are reminded that official U.S. Census Bureau surveys will never ask respondents for money.

Veterans Day: Honoring Those Who Serve and Continue to Serve

On this Veterans Day, the staff at The Skanner News honors all who have served and continue to serve in our nation's armed forces

FBI Reports Cybercrimes are Rising Because of Sophisticated Scams

Oregon man offers warning after he was scammed into giving away his family's life savings to criminals

Worker Who Yelled Racist Slurs at Black Customer Gets Jail

Audio and video showed a disturbing scene, said Deputy District Attorney Nicole Hermann

NEWS BRIEFS

Noose Found at Oregon Health & Science University

Surveillance cameras did not capture the area; investigator are reviewing who had access ...

DEQ Extends Air Quality Advisory Due to Stagnation

DEQ expects the air quality advisory to last until at least Tuesday, Nov. 12 ...

Forest Service Waives Fees in Honor of Veterans Day

The USDA Forest Service will waive fees at day-use recreation sites in Oregon and Washington on Monday, Nov. 11 in honor of Veterans...

Two Local Nonprofits Announced as Grant Recipients for Portland-Area Programs

Financial Beginnings Oregon and Portland Parks Foundation will receive a total of 0,000 plus leadership resources through Bank of...

State Seeks Volunteers to Rank Investments in Washington’s Outdoors

The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office is recruiting 50 volunteers to evaluate grant proposals for parks, boating...

College Football Picks: Auburn at center of all down stretch

Over the next three weeks, Auburn will be in the middle of the action even though the Tigers are outside the playoff race.No. 13 Auburn plays two top-five playoff contenders in No. 5 Georgia (No. 4 CFP) and No. 4 Alabama (No. 5 CFP) at home in November, and depending upon how the Tigers do their...

No. 11 Florida looks for different outcome against Missouri

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Florida linebacker David Reese insists things will be different against Missouri this week.He believes his team's preparation, focus, effort and intensity will change — along with the outcome. It's imperative if the Gators are going to make it to a New Year's...

OPINION

5 Ways Life Would be Better if it Were Always Daylight Saving Time

A Professor from the University of Washington says DST saves lives and energy and prevents crime ...

Importance of Educators of Color for Black and Brown Students

A new report examines the ways that school leaders of color’s experiences and perspectives influence how they build school culture ...

Atatiana Jefferson, Killed by Police Officer in Her Own Home

Atatiana Jefferson, a biology graduate who worked in the pharmaceutical industry and was contemplating becoming a doctor, lived a life of purpose that mattered ...

“Hell No!” That Is My Message to Those Who Would Divide Us 

Upon release from the South African jail, Nelson Mandela told UAW Local 600 members “It is you who have made the United States of America a superpower, a leader of the world" ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

College Football Picks: Auburn at center of all down stretch

Over the next three weeks, Auburn will be in the middle of the action even though the Tigers are outside the playoff race.No. 13 Auburn plays two top-five playoff contenders in No. 5 Georgia (No. 4 CFP) and No. 4 Alabama (No. 5 CFP) at home in November, and depending upon how the Tigers do their...

No. 11 Florida looks for different outcome against Missouri

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Florida linebacker David Reese insists things will be different against Missouri this week.He believes his team's preparation, focus, effort and intensity will change — along with the outcome. It's imperative if the Gators are going to make it to a New Year's...

Junkyard Dawgs: No. 5 Georgia's stellar D a team effort

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Kirby Smart has coached some stellar defenses.This might be one of his best.Never mind the lack of star power."They've got some of those same traits as the good defenses I've been able to be around," the Georgia coach said Monday. "But this group probably doesn't have that...

ENTERTAINMENT

Justices could return cable TV race bias suit to lower court

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court seems likely to overturn a lower court ruling in favor of an African-American media mogul and comedian who’s suing cable giant Comcast for racial discrimination.The justices appeared to be in broad agreement Wednesday that an appeals court applied...

Review: Driver brings 6,700 pages to life in ‘The Report’

Of all the statistics involving the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report on the CIA’s post-9/11 detention and interrogation program — better known as the “Torture Report” — let’s focus on this for a second: It had 38,000 footnotes.This mammoth...

Review: ‘The Good Liar’ pairs Mirren and McKellen

For a blind date, we could hardly do better than Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen.They are brought swiftly together by a computer dating service in the opening minutes of “The Good Liar.” Both click “widowed.” When they cautiously sit down in a quiet London restaurant, and...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

China tests Mars lander in international cooperation push

HUAILAI, China (AP) — China invited observers to a successful test Thursday of its Mars lander as the...

Iraq’s protests raise question: Where does the oil money go?

BAGHDAD (AP) — Waves of violent protests have engulfed Baghdad and Iraq’s southern provinces, with...

Walmart hires off-duty officers ahead of El Paso reopening

EL PASO, Texas (AP) — Walmart has quietly hired off-duty officers at its stores in El Paso, Texas, where a...

China tests Mars lander in international cooperation push

HUAILAI, China (AP) — China invited observers to a successful test Thursday of its Mars lander as the...

Iraq’s protests raise question: Where does the oil money go?

BAGHDAD (AP) — Waves of violent protests have engulfed Baghdad and Iraq’s southern provinces, with...

Walmart hires off-duty officers ahead of El Paso reopening

EL PASO, Texas (AP) — Walmart has quietly hired off-duty officers at its stores in El Paso, Texas, where a...

McMenamins
Bill Hardekopf

Tax time is here: Jan. 30 marked the first date that Americans can file their 2012 income taxes. This year, the IRS is tackling a problem that is growing rapidly: tax-related identity theft.

This type of ID theft occurs when thieves steal your social security number, file a false tax return and collect your refund. Thieves usually submit these fraudulent returns early in the filing season, before the legitimate taxpayer files.

Tax-related identity theft incidents are exploding. According to the latest GAO report, the IRS identified 47,730 incidents in 2008. That number grew five-fold in three years to 242,142 reports in 2011. Through just nine months of 2012, there were already 641,690 incidents.

This results in tremendous headaches for the people who have their identities stolen since it can take months to rectify the situation.

But it also causes incredible problems for the IRS. Last year, the IRS inspector general, J. Russell George, told CNBC that the IRS may issue up to $21 billion in fraudulent tax returns in the next five years.

In the past, the IRS has not had the manpower to keep up with this type of fraud. Thieves greatly outnumber IRS agents and are known to direct multiple fraudulent returns to one address, then change the address when agents catch on. One address in Lansing, Michigan received over 2,100 returns amounting to over $3.3 million in tax returns.

But the IRS is now stepping up their efforts to combat this tax-related identity theft.

* The IRS has doubled the number of employees assigned to tax-related ID theft in the past year to over 3,000.

* The agency has trained 35,000 employees who work with taxpayers to recognize identity theft indicators and help people victimized by identity theft.

* The IRS has activated dozens of new identity theft filters.

* A substantial increase in the number of identity theft investigations instituted by the IRS Criminal Investigations.

* The IRS is working with over 130 financial institutions to identify identity theft fraud schemes and block refunds from reaching the hands of identity thieves.

The IRS also recommends that consumers take the following steps to protect themselves from identity theft:

* Don't carry your Social Security card or any document(s) with your SSN on it.

* Don't give a business your SSN just because they ask. Give it only when required.

* Protect your financial information.

* Check your credit report every 12 months.

* Secure personal information in your home.

* Protect your personal computers by using firewalls, anti-spam/virus software, update security patches, and change passwords for Internet accounts.

* Don't give personal information over the phone, through the mail or on the Internet unless you have initiated the contact or you are sure you know who you are dealing with.



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