To our readers: the buZZ is on the road this week, so instead of skipping it or delaying it, it just isn't going to look like its usual self. We'll be back in the saddle on Monday, the 13th - but hope you'll find some interesting reading below.
THE IRS NEVER CALLS - A CAUTIONARY TALE
Please read this and tell your friends and family members
I would like to go on record as saying:
- You may know this, but you can still get taken for a ride (hopefully one that doesn't include a stop at the bank).
- You may think that everybody you know, knows this...and you'd be mistaken.
Last week, before leaving town, I received two very alarming voicemails on my home phone. My reaction to the initial call was "This sounds like a scam. I'm going to ignore it." When a second, more insistent one was left the following day, I wasn't so sure and I called the number, and as instructed, ID'd myself and left a message with my name and telephone number.
The following morning at 9:00 am on the dot, my home phone rang and the Caller ID said "US Gov't - IRS."
It took 45 minutes for the rat to smell bad enough for me to finally hang up. During that period I was given a case number, spoke with two alleged Chief investigators for the IRS' Fraud Division, was read a subpoena that lasted 5 minutes and cited a litany of IRS code violations, was badgered about having consistently been unresponsive to efforts by the IRS to contact me, was told the color of my front door and location of windows on each side as proof an Agent had been to my home in January and left a notice, and was mercilessly harassed about having to decide then and there whether I wanted to pursue this with a lawyer or work out a payment plan.
While I had no knowledge of any of these charges, any of these alleged visits or phone messages, my guess is I am not that different that a lot of people of there: while my brain screamed "SCAM!" it was overriden by fear and a growing sense of panic. The fact that the accusations were groundless oddly didn't make me feel any better. (So much for my self-image as a street-smart ex-NYer !!)
After hanging up on the alleged IRS investigator, I called to report this and spoke with an agent in the Treasury's Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) office in St. Louis. He told me I was very lucky that I hung up. The case he was working on just before I called involved someone who hadn't, someone who stayed on the phone all the way to the bank, and ultimately paid these scam artists $14,000.00!
So please do three things:
1. Remember: THE IRS NEVER CALLS
2.Hang up if you get a call from someone impersonating an IRS employee, when they ask you for money
3. Click on this link for more information: [TIGTA Press Release] and take the time to make sure your friends and family are on HIGH ALERT for this type of scam.
TIGTA knows who they are, where they are, and our government is working with government officials in India to have these people extradited. In the meantime, be careful.
ROW ROW ROW YOUR BOAT
Did you know that today's men's blazer had its origins in the rowing jacket? Yes, those outlandish,multi-hued jackets donned by rowers around the world from elite boarding schools, universities, and clubs.
This book is about 2 years old. You can get it on amazon. A fun read, visually intoxicating and filled with history. For the less-fashion forward out there, give BOYS IN THE BOAT a try - also at amazon. It's a great read.
In the event that your reading leads to an irresistible urge for "all things rowing":
THE TRAVEL BUGG:
The best known regatta in the world will be held this year from 29 June through 03 July. To get a taste of some of the beauty of this amazing sport, click on: Royal Henley
Or, on this side of The Pond, you still have more than 4 months to plan an outing to Cambridge MA:
For more information, please click here
The 2016 HOCR : October 22nd - 23rd
"Every October, when the foliage along the river is at its peak, the Charles is awash with thousands of racing shells from small high schools, fabled clubs, powerhouse collegiate programs and Olympic teams from around the world.”
THE ARTS - MARK YOUR CALENDAR
and consider writing a check....
SPONSOR AN ARTIST
Please click HERE to learn more about how you can "empower folk artists across the globe".
"BE YOURSELF - EVERYONE ELSE IS ALREADY TAKEN" - Oscar Wilde
"Authentic leaders focus on the long term. They evaluate the possible future impacts of their day to day activities. They strive for sustainable and enduring results, rather than those which are immediate and short-lived."
The above quote is by Sienna Zampino, from a Forbes article that combines two subjects I am very interested in at the moment: authenticity and millennials.
- If you'd like to read it: http://www.forbes.com/sites/karlmoore/2014/08/14/authenticity-the-way-to-the-millennials-heart/#7538d428444a
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The 2016 Election season is probably part of my motivation to better understand how to achieve our "authentic self." Like many things, the more I learn, the more I question. Regardless of where you begin the search, if this is a subject that interests you,there is a wealth of information online. It's a rewarding scavenger hunt.
Another quote I've always liked is "Don't believe everything you think." This point was driven home recently when I sat down with a friend and we took an online quiz together. The purpose was to see how our views and beliefs matched each political party and the candidates [all of the early candidates].
We're great friends but we both thought we were pretty far apart politically. Not so. As much as she "intensely disliked" one of the candidates, that candidate was the one whose views most matched those of my friend, I suggested one of my sisters take it - her experience was similar.
Here's the link: iSideWith.com It asks questions about policy having to do with the economy, environment, social programs,healthcare and a wide variety of other issues. While you might be tempted to a knee-jerk YES or NO, the real value to me was considering the OTHER STANCES option before answering each question.
Taking this quiz together fostered much better discussion - something I think a lot of us feel is almost impossible in our current politically divisive society. Just sayin' - a possible bridge over those troubled waters.....