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**SCAM ALERT** Targeting Seniors, of course

ERIE COUNTY REAL PROPERTY TAX SERVICES OFFICE WARNS RESIDENTS OF ALLEGED STAR EXEMPTION SCAM TARGETING LOCAL SENIORS

Date:  /13/19

 

Erie County’s Real Property Tax Services Office is issuing a warning following alleged telephone scam efforts that are targeting senior citizens who own property in the county.

According to county employees who have been in contact with residents who have received the phone calls, the scammers are calling local seniors claiming to be employees of Erie County in an attempt to obtain personal financial information.

All property owners are reminded to never give out any personal information over the phone regarding their STAR exemption. Erie County is not involved in the administration of the STAR exemption.

Anyone who receives one of these suspicious calls is asked to simply hang up.

For more information:

Visit the Real Property Tax Services online at www.erie.gov/ecrpts/

This is a *Press Release from Erie County Officials*

I Heard it Through The Grapevine-Gossip

People tell me everything now so here is some cool stuff:

The Akron Business District is a changing 

CONFIRMED:

At the corner of Rt 5 and 93, you have noticed all those trees being cleared.  They are being cleared for a 23,000 sf fresh produce/grocery store with an on site butcher!  They are slated to be open by 2021.  The Newsteader™ will be following this!

New Promotional products place moving into the old Mary’s

Yogi’s is moving to the old Akron House

Missy’s BBQ place is going to be here (waiting on more info about that)

and a little birdie told me a super delicious BAKE SHOP is also in the works!

Our Main Street is changing, our town is changing.  It’s all so exciting and terrific!

 

-JAP-

**From the FDA** Vaping Illnesses: Consumers can Help Protect Themselves by Avoiding Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-Containing Vaping Products

The FDA is providing consumers information to help protect themselves while health officials investigate recent illnesses following the use of vaping products.

Consumers are likely aware of the recent reports of respiratory illnesses — including some resulting in deaths – following the use of vaping products. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) remains deeply concerned about these incidents and is working closely with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as state and local public health partners to investigate them as quickly as possible.

While the work by federal and state health officials to identify more information about the products used, where they were obtained and what substances they contain is ongoing, the FDA is providing consumers with some information to help protect themselves.

In particular, many of the samples tested by the states or by the FDA as part of this ongoing investigation have been identified as vaping products containing tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC, a psychoactive component of the marijuana plant) and further, most of those samples with THC tested also contained significant amounts of Vitamin E acetate. Vitamin E acetate is a substance present in topical consumer products or dietary supplements, but data are limited about its effects after inhalation.

While the FDA does not have enough data presently to conclude that Vitamin E acetate is the cause of the lung injury in these cases, the agency believes it is prudent to avoid inhaling this substance. Because consumers cannot be sure whether any THC vaping products may contain Vitamin E acetate, consumers are urged to avoid buying vaping products on the street, and to refrain from using THC oil or modifying/adding any substances to products purchased in stores. Additionally, no youth should be using any vaping product, regardless of the substance.

At least one of the associated deaths that has been publicly disclosedExternal Link Disclaimer appears to have been related to illicit THC vaping products. In many cases of illness reported by the states, patients have acknowledged recent use of THC-containing vaping products while speaking to healthcare personnel, or in follow-up interviews by health department staff.

It’s important to note that more information is needed to better understand whether there’s a relationship between any specific products or substances and the reported illnesses. To help gather and analyze as much information as possible, the FDA’s laboratory is working closely with our federal and state partners to identify the products or substances that may be causing the illnesses.

The FDA is analyzing samples submitted by a number of states for the presence of a broad range of chemicals, including nicotine, THC and other cannabinoids along with cutting agents/diluents and other additives, pesticides, opioids, poisons, heavy metals and toxins.

No one substance has been identified in all of the samples tested. Importantly, identifying any compounds that are present in the samples will be one piece of the puzzle but will not necessarily answer questions about what is causing these illnesses.

Federal and state partners are following any potential leads, including the presence of Vitamin E acetate found in many of the samples containing THC. The FDA is committed to taking appropriate actions as the facts emerge and keeping the public informed as we have more information to share.

However, in the interim, we encourage consumers to help protect themselves and avoid buying vaping products of any kind on the street, and to refrain from using THC oil or modifying/adding any substances to products purchased in stores. If you continue to use these THC-containing vaping products, monitor yourself for symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath, chest pain) and promptly seek medical attention if you have concerns about your health. If you are concerned about your health after using a vaping product, contact your health care provider, or you can also call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Health care providers also can contact their local poison control center.

CDC and the FDA encourage the public to submit detailed reports of any unexpected tobacco- or e-cigarette-related health or product issues to the FDA via the online Safety Reporting Portal.

*PRESS RELEASE* Scam of the Day!

Scam Alert: Bogus Letters Demanding Payment Sent to Taxpayers NYS Tax Department assures recipients letters are fake 

For Release: Immediate, 

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance today alerted taxpayers to fake letters that demand immediate payment for an outstanding tax debt and threaten revocation of passports and driver licenses if the warning is ignored.

The return address on this letter, which was sent to at least one person, is:

Tax Processing Center
Internal Processing Service
Public Judgement Records

The letter states that the recipient has failed to respond to prior notices, demands full payment by a specific date, and provides an 888 number to call to avoid having personal property levied and sold. It also threatens to revoke the recipient’s driver license and passport.

View a copy of the scam letter here.

View copies of other similar scam letters sent to New York taxpayers here.

“This is a common scam in which the recipient is threatened out of the blue with punitive action unless payment—in this case, $12,444 —is made immediately,” said New York State Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Michael Schmidt. “In contrast, our department works with taxpayers who have existing tax debt, such as by establishing an installment payment agreement, to resolve the issue. We also work with all levels of law enforcement to bring the fraudsters who commit these types of crimes to justice.”

The Tax Department also routinely explains a taxpayer’s right to challenge a bill or notice, or other departmental actions, and offers several ways to pay a bill.

How to spot a fake collection letter

The Tax Department never threatens arrest or revocation of passports. A legitimate letter from the department will include:

  • Tax Department logo;
  • a complete return mailing address;
  • an option to respond online, by phone, or by mail;
  • the Tax Department website address;
  • a detailed explanation for why it was sent; and
  • an explanation of your rights as a taxpayer.

Learn more about letters sent from the Tax Department Respond to a letter webpage.

Report impersonation scams

Con artists will often try to impersonate representatives from the Tax Department or IRS. If you receive a suspicious letter from someone claiming to be an employee of either agency, it’s critical that you report it.

You can report possible scams to the Tax Department and IRS online or by phone. We will review your complaint promptly and, if appropriate, take corrective action.

If you receive a suspicious letter that claims to be from the NYS Tax Department, contact the Tax Department by phone (518-451-1566) or email (dtfoia@tax.ny.gov).

Scammers have also claimed to be from the New York State Treasury. If you receive one of these calls, notify the agency at 1-800-771-7755.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) should also be alerted. You can file a complaint on the FTCwebsite or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).