COVID-19 Changes & Updates

This order prohibits all indoor and outdoor public and private gatherings and events.  The order specifically requires all businesses to cease in person operations and close to the public.

Members of the general public can safely use cloth face coverings when they need to leave their home for a short period of time to obtain essential goods or services. Members of the general public should use a clean face covering anytime they will be in contact with other people who are not household members in public or private spaces.

Social Distancing 04/06/2020

Novel Coronavirus Resources

Scams and Fraud

FCC: COVID-19 Consumer Warnings and Safety Tips

https://www.fcc.gov/covid-scams

New York Times:Another Thing to Fear Out There: Coronavirus Scammers”
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/05/us/politics/coronavirus-scams-fraud-price-gouging.html

AP News: “Coronavirus Scams: Guard Against Fraud Cures and Other Cons”

https://apnews.com/fdd9b17e40770890926dc2797c80a6c9

• FTC: Avoiding SSA scams during COVID-19
https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2020/04/avoiding-ssa-scams-during-covid-19

• Better Business Bureau Tips on COVID-19 (coronavirus)
  https://www.bbb.org/council/coronavirus/

The 2020 Census will determine congressional representation, inform hundreds of billions in federal funding every year, and provide data that will impact communities for the next decade. 

Avoid Census Scams and Fraud!

Some scam artists may pretend to be work for the Census Bureau. They’ll try to collect your personal information to use for fraud or to steal your identity. These scam artists may send you letters that seem to come from the U.S. Census Bureau. Others may come to your home to collect information about you.

Follow these tips to ensure that your personal information stays safe:

Don’t

  • Don’t share your full Social Security number, bank or credit card account numbers, or your mother’s maiden name. The Census Bureau won’t ask for this type of information.

  • Don’t trust emails from claiming to be from the Census Bureau. This agency sends letters to invite individuals to take part in its surveys. If you get an email from the Census Bureau, it’s probably a scam.

  • Don’t trust caller ID. Call the Census Bureau’s National Processing Center to verify a telephone survey.

April 15 Tax Deadline Extended

The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service are providing special tax filing and payment relief to individuals and businesses in response to the COVID-19 Outbreak. The filing deadline for tax returns has been extended from April 15 to July 15, 2020. The IRS urges taxpayers who are owed a refund to file as quickly as possible.

California is postponing tax deadlines until JULY 15, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Avoid tax scams and fraud!

Thousands of people have lost millions of dollars and their personal information to tax scams. Scammers use the regular mail, telephone, or email to set up individuals, businesses, payroll and tax professionals.

The IRS doesn’t initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information. This includes requests for PIN numbers, passwords or similar access information for credit cards, banks or other financial accounts.

The IRS also doesn’t call to demand immediate payment using a specific payment method such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the IRS will first mail a bill to any taxpayer who owes taxes.

Don’t respond to the following scams:

1. ‘You need to pay a small fee to get your stimulus check’

2. ‘We’re calling from the FDIC and we need your bank information’

3. ‘We’re calling to tell you your identity was stolen; you need to buy some gift cards to fix it’

4. ‘We’ll cancel your Social Security number’

5. ‘This is the Bureau of Tax Enforcement, and we’re putting a lien or levy on your assets’

6. ‘Use this Form W-8BEN to give us personal data’
Although the Form W-8BEN, which is called a “Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding,” is a legitimate IRS form, criminals have been modifying the form to ask for personal information such as mother’s maiden name, passport numbers and PIN numbers.

7. ‘Click here to see some details about your tax refund’
These emails are intended to trick the reader into clicking on links that lead to a fake IRS-like website and expose the user to malware.

8. ‘We’re from the Taxpayer Advocate Service and we need some information’

9. ‘Take this FBI survey’

10. ‘You owe the Federal Student Tax’