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Donations for Illinois Masonic Home while shopping
Created: 1/24/2017

Many of your supporters are shopping for Valentine's Day gifts, and reminding them to shop at can increase donations for Illinois Masonic Home. Amazon has a large variety of gifts that are perfect for Valentine's Day including electronics, jewelry, clothing, and more.

IRS Scams
Created: 1/21/2017

It is that time of year again, tax time. During this time of year, the scam phone calls increase to consumers to scare or trick people into paying money or providing personal confidential information that can be used to steal or compromise their identity. 

Here are some tips from to help you avoid becoming a victim:

  • Scammers make unsolicited calls. This is when thieves call taxpayers claiming to be an IRS official. They demand that the victim pay a bogus tax bill. This is how they con the victim into sending cash through the method of a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. They may also leave “urgent” call back requests through phone “robo-calls” or via phishing email.
  • Callers try to scare their victims. Many phone scams use threats to intimidate and bully a victim into paying. They may even threaten to arrest, deport or revoke the license of the victim if money is not paid.
  • Scams use caller ID spoofing. Scammers often alter caller ID to make it look like the IRS or another government agency is calling. The callers use IRS titles and fake badge numbers to appear legitimate. They may use the victim’s name, address and other personal information to make the call sound official.
  • Cons try new tricks all the time. Some schemes provide an actual IRS address where they tell the victim to mail a receipt for the payment. Others use emails that contain a fake IRS document with a phone number or email address for a reply. These scams often use official IRS letterhead in emails or regular mail they send to their victims. They try these ploys to make the ruse look official.

There are things the IRS will NOT do:

  • Call you to demand immediate payment. The IRS will not call you if you owe taxes without first sending you a bill in the mail.
  • Demand that you pay taxes and not allow you to question or appeal the amount you owe.
  • Require you pay your taxes a certain way. For instance, require you pay with a prepaid debit card.
  • Ask for your credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • Threaten to bring in police or other agencies to arrest you for not paying.
  • Email you.  The IRS doesn’t initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information.
  • The IRS does not threaten taxpayers with lawsuits, imprisonment or other enforcement action. 

If you don’t owe taxes, or have no reason to think that you do, do not give ANY information.  Hang up immediately.  To report a call, contact TIGTA at 800-366-4484.  

Stay alert to scams that use the IRS as a lure.  Tax scams can happen any time of the year, not just at tax time.  For more visit “Tax Scams and Consumer Alerts” on

Report all unsolicited email claiming to be from the IRS or an IRS-related function to

Each and every taxpayer has a set of fundamental rights they should be aware of when dealing with the IRS.  Visit to explore your rights and the IRS obligations to protect yourself from these scams.


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