Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, January 3, 2015

MVNews this week:  Page 5



Mountain Views-News Saturday, January 3, 2015 


IRS-Impersonation Telephone Scam

 An aggressive and sophisticated phone scam targeting 
taxpayers, including recent immigrants, has been making 
the rounds throughout the country. Callers claim to be 
employees of the IRS, but are not. These con artists can 
sound convincing when they call. They use fake names and 
bogus IRS identification badge numbers. They may know a 
lot about their targets, and they usually alter the caller ID to 
make it look like the IRS is calling. 

 Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it 
must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or 
wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are 
then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension 
of a business or driver’s license. In many cases, the caller 
becomes hostile and insulting.

 Or, victims may be told they have a refund due to try to 
trick them into sharing private information. 

 If the phone isn’t answered, the scammers often leave an 
“urgent” callback request.

 Note that the IRS will never: 1) call to demand immediate 
payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without 
first having mailed you a bill; 2) demand that you pay 
taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or 
appeal the amount they say you owe; 3) require you to use a 
specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid 
debit card; 4) ask for credit or debit card numbers over the 
phone; or 5) threaten to bring in local police or other law-
enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

 For more details on this ongoing scam, see:

 IR-2014-105, Scam Phone Calls Continue; IRS Unveils 
New Video to Warn Taxpayers 

 Special Edition Tax Tip 2014-18, Five Easy Ways to Spot 
a Scam Phone Call 

 IR-2014-84, Scam Phone Calls Continue; IRS Identifies 
Five Easy Ways to Spot Suspicious Calls 

 IR-2014-81, IRS Repeats Warning about Phone Scams 

Special Edition Tax Tip 2014-17, IRS Updates Phone Scams 

 IR-2014-53, IRS Reiterates Warning of Pervasive 
Telephone Scam 

 Special Edition Tax Tip 2014-10, IRS Renews Phone 
Scam Warning 

 IR-2013-84, IRS Warns of Pervasive Telephone Scam

Email Phishing Scam: “Update your IRS e-file” 

 The IRS has been alerted to a new email phishing scam. 
The emails appear to be from the IRS and include a link to 
a bogus web site intended to mirror the official IRS web site. 
These emails contain the direction “you are to update your 
IRS e-file immediately.” The emails mention and 
IRSgov (without a dot between “IRS” and “gov”), though 
notably, not (with a dot). Don’t get scammed. These 
emails are not from the IRS.

 Taxpayers who get these messages should not respond to 
the email or click on the links. Instead, they should forward 
the scam emails to the IRS at For more 
information, visit the IRS’s Report Phishing web page.

 The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email 
to request personal or financial information. 

Tax Scams

 Don’t fall victim to tax scams. Remember — if it sounds 
too good to be true, it probably is. 

 Some of the other recent scams the IRS has seen include:

 IR-2014-39, IRS Warns of New Email Phishing Scheme 
Falsely Claiming to be from the Taxpayer Advocate Service 

 IR-2014-16, IRS Releases the “Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams 
for 2014; Identity Theft, Phone Scams Lead List 

 IR-2014-5, Watch Out for Tax Scams as Filing Season 
Opening Nears 

 IR-2013-90, IRS Warns Consumers of Possible Scams 
Relating to Relief of Typhoon Victims 

 IR-2013-33, Don’t Fall Prey to the 2013 Dirty Dozen 
Tax Scams 

 IR-2012-23, IRS Releases the Dirty Dozen Tax Scams 
for 2012 

 IR-2011-73, IRS Urges Taxpayers to Avoid Becoming 
Victims of Tax Scams 

 IR-2011-39, Don’t Fall Prey to the 2011 Dirty Dozen Tax 

 Education is the best way to avoid the pitfalls of these 
“too good to be true” tax scams. For more information, 

Tax Scams — How to Report Them 

- Criminal Investigation’s - Tax Fraud Alerts

Phony Arguments

 No matter how some things are sliced, they’re still 
baloney. If someone tells you that you don’t have to 
pay taxes, check out The Truth About Frivolous Tax 
Arguments. This exclusive addresses some of 
the more common false legal arguments made by those 
opposed to compliance with the federal tax laws. Each 
contention is briefly explained, followed by a discussion of 
the legal authority that rejects the contention. The second 
section deals with frivolous arguments encountered in 
collection due process cases. The final section illustrates 
penalties imposed on those pursuing frivolous cases.

 IR-2014-51, IRS Debunks Frivolous Tax Arguments, 
includes numerous recently decided cases that 
demonstrate that the courts continue to regard such 
arguments as illegitimate. 

 IR-2011-23, IRS Debunks Frivolous Tax Arguments, 
highlights the issue and possible penalties. 

 IR-2004-41 describes the increasingly strong penalties 
the courts have imposed from March 2003 to March 2004 
on taxpayers who pursued frivolous cases to delay IRS 
collection actions. 

 IR-2003-28 details penalties the Tax Court imposed 
from April 2001 until early March 2003 for making 
frivolous Collection Due Process arguments.

Identity Theft Scams

 The IRS has issued several consumer warnings about 
the fraudulent use of the IRS name or logo by scamsters 
trying to gain access to consumers’ financial information 
in order to steal their identity and assets. Scamsters will 
use the regular mail, telephone, fax or email to set up their 
victims. When identity theft takes place over the Internet 
(email), it is called phishing.

 The IRS does not initiate taxpayer communications 
through email. Unsolicited email claiming to be from the 
IRS, or from an IRS-related component such as EFTPS, 
should be reported to the IRS at

Additionally, clicking on attachments to or links within 
an unsolicited email claiming to come from the IRS 
may download a malicious computer virus onto your 

 Learn more about identity theft.

 Learn how to protect your personal information.

 You may also report instances of IRS-related phishing 
attempts and fraud to the Treasury Inspector General for 
Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484.

Reporting Tax-Related Schemes, Scams, Identity Theft 
and Fraud

 To report the various types of tax-related illegal 


By Joan Schmidt

 During my tenure at Annunciation School, Arcadia, 
there were two certain field trips for my sixth grade 
class: The Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena and the 
El Monte Historical Museum in El Monte. Although 
I retired from teaching, the subject came up again 
during the Breeders Cup. At a media function, I met the 
Toronto Jockey, Jamie Stewart’s mom, who asked about 
local museums (The wife of her son’s mount‘s owner was 
wondering about local attractions.) I returned home, 
located the museums’ info and gave it to her!

 The Norton Simon has so many beautiful works of 
art from the great masters of many periods. I mean 
Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Degas, Renoir, modern like 
Picasso, Kandinsky, and many more; Eastern art-statues 
of Buddhas from India and China; Medieval altar pieces; 
tapestry-the list goes on and on. (The late Norton Simon 
and his late wife, actress Jennifer Jones traveled to Asia 
on their honeymoon, and this is how they acquired the 
beautiful Eastern works. Norton Simon was an amazing 
man who amassed a great fortune at an early age; he 
loved art and wanted to share it with many to enjoy and 

 What has fascinated me about our area is all the cities 
have a different founder and such interesting history. 
Many years ago, my mom came to California each year 
from New Jersey. Disneyland was too crowded, too much 
walking and too pricey. Thanks to the yellow pages’ 
“museum section” I found several! Her very favorite 
was the El Monte Museum. Signs call the city, “The End 
of the Santa Fe trail”. That’s because several wagons 
continued past Santa Fe and ended up in the current 
city-a lush, fertile area. In the Museum on one side are 
several little “cubicles” including two bedrooms, barber 
shop, apothecary, music shop, dress shop, classroom 
area, general store, living room, kitchen, and classroom! 

 Walking to the other side, the hall has a display 
from “Gay’s Lion Farm”. The circus couple came from 
Europe and began this popular farm. Celebrities and 
even a president came to visit! There are display cases 
throughout with dresses, jewelry, memorabilia from 
different wars, a tribute to the El Monte Police and Fire 
Departments and a Rolls Royce Winston Churchill 
rode in!

 “Learning or Living History” is the theme for the 
Homestead Museum, 15415 East Don Julian Road, City 
of Industry. This museum covers the history of the LA 
Region from the 1840’s when it was still part of Mexico 
through the 1920’s when Los Angeles was known 
world-wide as a metropolitan city. Encompassing three 
acres there are three sites to see, the Workman House, 
an 1870’s Victorian country home constructed around 
an 1840’s adobe, La Casa Nuevo, a Spanish Colonial 
Revival mansion, and El Campo Santo, one of the 
region’s oldest private cemeteries. (Pio Pico is interred 

 There are three other must-sees in the area. Arcadia’s 
Ruth and Charles Gilb Historical Museum (380 West 
Huntington Drive, Arcadia, (626-574-5400) has a 
tribute to Anita Baldwin (Lucky’s daughter), Veterans, 
famous Arcadians in addition to tracing the history of 
the local area.

 Washington Irving, Mount Wilson, and General 
George Patton are connected to Alhambra’s founder, 
Benjamin Davis Wilson. To find out how, visit the 
Alhambra Museum, 1550 W. Alhambra Road, 
Alhambra. (626) 300-8845. Call ahead for days/hours.

 Monrovia’s founder, William Newton Monroe 
played an important role in railroad construction! He 
was born in Lexington, Indiana, and fought in the First 
Iowa Calvary during the Civil War. He and his wife 
came to California in 1884 and was the Superintendent 
of Construction of the Southern Pacific Railroad for 
twelve years. A successful businessman, he bought 240 
acres of land from Lucky Baldwin in 1886 for $30,000! 
He also built railroads in Mexico and the first one in 
Alaska. The museum covers his life, the history of the 
city and more. Monrovia Historical Museum is at 742 
East Lemon Ave, Monrovia. (626) 357-9537.

 There are many family fun learning experiences in 


LOS ANGELES COUNTY — In a just-released report 
requested by Mayor Michael D. Antonovich and 
Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, the County Counsel 
revealed that approximately $162 million in available 
Proposition A funds can be spent without state legislation. 
The report determined that no State or County regulations 
exist that would prevent the Board of Supervisors from 
dispersing any of the available Proposition A funds. 

 “Voters were wise enough to reject Proposition P’s tax 
increase, despite being told by the bureaucrats and some 
newspaper editorials, that there was not enough money 
for parks and open space projects -- and that access to 
any funding would require the passage of new state and 
county laws. This was untrue.” Further, the measure was 
developed without the vital input of our communities and 
town councils, gave little notice to the public, and lacked a 
complete study as to need and purpose. 

 In August, the Board of Supervisors, on a 3-2 vote with 
Supervisors Antonovich and Ridley-Thomas dissenting, 
voted to approve placing a proposition on the ballot in 
November that would levy a $23-per-parcel property 
tax on county residents to generate approximately $54 
million a year over the next 30 years. In November, 
Proposition P failed to meet the two-thirds vote needed 
to pass. 

 “Parks are a vital component in enhancing the 
quality of life for our county residents. However, voters 
should not be rushed into saddling themselves with 
billions of dollars in taxes,” Antonovich added. “Before 
burdening county residents with additional taxes, the 
County needs to determine what funds are currently 
available and how best to meet the needs of county 
residents. We need a comprehensive plan to spend 
existing unallocated revenues and a proposal specifying 
the need for additional revenue – that is what the voters 
and taxpayers deserve.”

 Antonovich will introduce a motion in January 
directing the Chief Executive Officer to identify park