Nov

16

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : November 16, 2014

Monitor Staff Reports
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–Alert. A phone scam that has been reported in Ennis, has arrived to the local area. The caller represents himself or herself as an agent of the IRS and they are after immediate payment of taxes in the thousands of dollars.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) warns that we are currently experiencing the “largest ever” telephone scam involving swindlers impersonating IRS agents and extorting money out of innocent taxpayers.
How the scam works
“Callers claiming to be from the IRS tell intended victims they owe taxes and must pay using a pre-paid debit card, wire transfer or a voucher, obtainable from many larger retailers. The scammers threaten those who refuse to pay with arrest, deportation or loss of a business or driver’s license,” TIGTA said in their news release.
A Gun Barrel City woman, 84, said she was threatened with the closing down of her bank account and of losing her house if she did not make an immediate payment, that very day.
“Can you imagine what a fright this was to me?” She asks.
After hanging up the phone, she called her tax preparer and was informed that it was a scam and then she called the police and the newspaper to warn others of the possibility of them receiving a similar phone call in the future.
According to an online article by William Perez on this IRS scam, the caller will often appear to be legitimate. TIGTA reveals the fraudsters often:
• “Use common names like Julie or Pete and fake IRS badge numbers. Though the Gun Barrel City woman said, everyone she spoke with had different foreign accents.
•“Know the last four digits of their victim’s Social Security Number.
• “Make caller ID information appear as if the IRS is calling.
• “Send bogus IRS e-mails to support their claims.
• “Call a second time, claiming to be the police or department of motor vehicles, and the caller ID again supports their claim.”
Over 20,000 incidents of this scam have been reported to TIGTA, and victims have been defrauded of over $1 million as of March 20, 2014.
What the IRS’s actually does
The IRS contacts taxpayers by mail alerting them that they owe taxes, and the letters explain options for paying by check or setting up an installment agreement. IRS agents do not take credit card numbers over the phone.
How to protect yourself if you get a call saying you owe taxes
TIGTA provides the following tips for how to deal with this telephone scam:
•“If you owe Federal taxes, or think you might owe taxes, hang up and call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you with your payment questions.
• “If you don’t owe taxes, call and report the incident to TIGTA at (800) 366-4484.
• “You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.FTC.gov. Add ‘IRS Telephone Scam’ to the comments in your complaint.”
Exercise vigilance. Contact the IRS, or ask your tax professional to contact the IRS for you, instead of dealing with someone calling you out of the blue demanding money.

Nov

16

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : November 16, 2014

Courtesy Photo The Henderson County Performing Arts theatre cast for The  Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe prepare for opening night Dec. 5.

Courtesy Photo
The Henderson County Performing Arts theatre cast for The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe prepare for opening night Dec. 5.


Special to The Monitor
ATHENS–“It’s always winter in Narnia – but never Christmas.”
The beloved C.S. Lewis tale of the magical land of Narnia, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe comes to life at the Henderson County Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m Friday-Saturday, Dec. 5-6, Thursday-Saturday, Dec. 11-13 and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7 and Saturday, Dec. 13.
This timeless children’s classic tells the fantastic story of four children who find themselves transported to a land of woodland creatures ruled by the evil White Witch until the rightful king, Aslan the Lion, returns to teach them that courage and bravery will triumph over evil.
The cast of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe was named after two nights of auditions and includes cast members Samuel Clarke, Isabelle Wandres, Shiloh Bartee, Gage Hardin, Grace Ferrell, Aiden Kocian, Ethan McGlaun, Olivia Lemmon, Raelin Maieritsch, Gabe Thomason, Ryan Kirksey, Dani Lunceford, Abby Van Cleave, Kyra Dawson, Ryan Carnes, Tristin Catugal, Violet Lemmon, Katelyn Hanson, Hali Davis, Lauren Pickle, Amelea Varos, Owen Grey, Kaylee Holyfield, Rachael Richardson, Nevaeh Salinas, Journey Griffin, Heidi Davis, Caroline Wandres, Katie Erck, William Lemmon, Jack Kirksey, Kayden Maieritsch, Marilee Marholz, Jonas Akin, Ashley Obert, Coralyn Happel, Eden Carnes, Paiton Johnson, Indi Griffis, Eli Carnes, Deacon Bartee, Ro Marholz, Rylann Loper, Emma Kirksey and Evan Loper.
For more information, call (903) 675-3908.
Henderson County Performing Arts Center is located at 400 Gibson Rd. in Athens.

Nov

13

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : November 13, 2014

Seven puppies decapitated

Special to The Monitor
VAN ZANDT COUNTY–Van Zandt County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of the person who beheaded seven puppies.
The horrific crime was discovered Oct. 30 when someone who lives in the FM 90 area was trying to rescue a Great Dane and found a food sack near the dog. There were nine dead puppies in the sack, seven of which had been decapitated.
Because of the repulsive nature of the crime, the Crime Stoppers board has authorized a specific reward for anonymous tips about who killed the puppies.
“This crime was beyond disgusting,” Van Zandt County Crime Stoppers President Kathy Smith said.
“There are animal rescue organizations in this county that would have gladly taken unwanted puppies. These poor animals did not deserve to die such a horrible death.”
To report an anonymous tip, call the Van Zandt County Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at (903) 567-7867 or submit information from mobile phones or computers at vanzandtcrimestoppers.org.
Crime Stoppers cash rewards are financed by criminal court fines and donations.