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In brief: IRS warns of scam alleging unpaid debt

Tue., Nov. 5, 2013

A sophisticated scam is targeting taxpayers, many of them recent immigrants to the United States, the Internal Revenue Service warned recently.

Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and that it must be paid immediately via wire transfer or debit card, according to an agency news release. The callers also threaten people with arrest and deportation, or suspension of their driver’s license if they won’t cooperate, the release said.

The scam is far-reaching: Sometimes what appears to be an IRS toll-free phone number shows up on the victim’s caller ID. When police action is threatened, a follow-up call purporting to be from the local police or vehicle-licensing office also shows up on caller ID. And scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of the victim’s Social Security number, the release said.

Taxpayers in nearly every state have been targeted, the IRS said.

The IRS noted that its representatives don’t ask for credit card numbers over the phone. Anyone receiving a call that makes them suspicious should call the IRS’s toll-free number at (800) 829-1040.

Dinner tab dispute brings police, arrest

A $20 dinner at a local diner ended with an assault charge for a 27-year-old Spokane man.

Police arrested Bobby McBride early Thursday after he refused to pay for food ordered at the Shari’s Restaurant located at 1829 N. Monroe St., according to court records. Officers arrived just before midnight to find McBride detained by a restaurant employee trying to collect the $20.61 tab.

As officers led him to a patrol car, McBride began yelling and making threats, according to court documents. As he was placed into the back seat of a patrol car, McBride spat on one of the officers, according to court documents.

Prosecutors are seeking charges of misdemeanor theft and third-degree assault. McBride is being held in lieu of $11,000 bond on the charges.

Police say break-ins funded meth habit

A man police said broke into cars at Mead High School to pay for methamphetamine was arrested after a short foot chase Friday, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

John Heitman, 19, was jailed after a Mead student reported seeing him rooting around in her boyfriend’s car with a backpack. Heitman ran from the high school parking lot, scaling a fence before deputies boxed him into a backyard.

Heitman told deputies he broke into cars to pay for a drug habit that costs him $300 every other day, according to the news release. He is being held on charges of burglary and resisting arrest, in addition to two other felony warrants that include charges of stealing a motor vehicle and trafficking stolen property.

Average state gas price down to $3.42

BELLEVUE – The AAA auto club reports the average price of a gallon of gasoline in Washington is $3.42.

That’s down 4 cents in a week and 24 cents in a month. It’s 17 cents higher than the national average.

Some metro prices from the AAA’s Monday survey:

Spokane $3.51, Seattle-Bellevue-Everett $3.44 and Tacoma $3.32.


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