BBB: Watch out for tax-extension scams
Since the International Revenue Service (IRS) announced the deferment of the federal income tax payment deadline from April 15 to July 15, 2020 to help taxpayers and businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns against extension scams that may compromise personal and financial security.
Scammers contact taxpayers through phishing e-mails that appear to come from the IRS, demanding payment or requesting updated information. Know that the IRS does not initiate contact through e-mail, text messages or social media. The IRS IP Pin prevents filing a fraudulent return with a social security number.
Phishing e-mails and IRS tax-filing scams can be reported to bbb.org/scamtracker
Report tax-related phishing e-mails to email@example.com
Victims of tax identity theft may retrieve a personalized identity theft recovery plan from the Federal Trade Commission at identitytheft.gov
For BBB’s resources surrounding coronavirus, visit bbb.org/coronavirus
Law joins forces to protect residents during pandemic
Local law enforcement agencies are working together to remind residents of consumer laws in place during the COVID-19 state of emergency and Gov. Gavin Newsom’s order for Californians to stay home.
In response to reports about discrimination and harassment against Asian Americans and immigrant populations, the agencies are sharing information regarding incidents of potential hate crimes and are warning the public not to engage in discriminatory behavior.
Additionally, state law makes it a crime to raise prices more than 10 percent on necessary goods and services after a state of emergency has been declared. It is also a crime to make untrue or misleading statements about a product, such as claiming a product can treat or cure COVID-19.
To avoid coronavirus-related scams, the Federal Trade Commission advises that you hang up on robocalls without pressing any numbers. (Scammers are using illegal robocalls to pitch everything from fake coronavirus treatments to work-at-home schemes.) And know who you’re buying from. Online sellers may claim to have in-demand products, like cleaning, household, health and medical supplies when in fact they don’t.
To report price gouging and predatory business practices, call the Affirmative Civil Enforcement Unit of the City Attorney’s Office (619) 533-5618 or the District Attorney’s Consumer Protection Unit (619) 531-3507.
The City Attorney’s Family Justice Center, which serves victims of domestic violence and human trafficking, has staff available by phone to provide safety planning and connect victims to community resources. To reach a victim services coordinator, call (619) 533-6000 or (619) 533-6001.
To report a hate crime, contact the San Diego Police Department at (619) 531-2000 or (858) 484-3154 or the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department at (858) 565-5200. For emergencies, dial 9-1-1.
Man arrested for armed robbery
San Diego police robbery detectives placed 27-year-old Aaron McKenzie under arrest for robbing a 7-Eleven convenience store, and he was booked into County Jail.
Police report that about 4:50 a.m. March 20, McKenzie entered the store at 2920 Adrian St. He displayed a handgun and robbed the clerk of more than $200 in cash. Detectives investigated and were able to identify McKenzie as the suspect.
With the assistance of Western Division patrol officers and ABLE, the police helicopter, McKenzie was located and arrested without incident at 2300 Etiwanda St. Detectives searched his car and the gun used in the robbery was recovered. Upon inspection, the gun was actually a BB gun.
• Assaults: 24 incidents
• Drugs/Alcohol Violations: 79 citations
• DUIs: 4 arrests
• Fraud: 7 reports
• Weapons: 2 incidents
• Prostitution: 2700 block Bayside, 8:45 a.m. March 17
• Rape: 3 reports — 500 block Sea World Drive, 4:30 p.m. March 8; Avalon Court & Bayside Walk, 9 a.m. March 17; 3300 block Channel, 7:40 p.m. April 2
• Other sex crimes: 4 reports —Avalon Court & Bayside Walk, 8:45 a.m. March 17; Avalon Court & Bayside Walk, 8:37 a.m. March 13; 4000 block West Point Loma, 8:43 a.m. April 1; 2000 block Harbor Island, 10:45 p.m. April 7
• Residential Burglary: 8 — 2900 block Farragut, 10:56 p.m. March 13; 1000 block Evergreen, 3:49 p.m. March 12; 4800 block Del Mar, 12:30 a.m. March 15; 5100 block Muir, 12:33 a.m. March 18; 500 block San Elijo, 5:40 a.m. March 20; 3600 block Fenelon, 2 p.m. March 20; 1500 block Chatsworth, 3:30 a.m. March 26; 2700 block Ocean Front Walk, 2:25 a.m. April 1
• Commercial Burglary: 9 — 900 block Catalina, 1:21 a.m. March 11; 2300 block Famosa, 1:12 a.m. March 18; 0 S Shores, 1:30 p.m. March 19; 5000 block North Harbor, 3 p.m. Feb. 29; 2300 block Chatsworth, 6 p.m. March 25; 3500 block Kurtz, 1:49 p.m. March 19; 2800 block Historic Decatur, 11:12 p.m. March 23; 3000 block North Evergreen, 5 p.m. March 23; 2700 block Truxtun, 9:59 p.m. March 19
• Street Robberies: 3500 block Sports Arena, 1 a.m. March 17
• Commercial Robberies: 3 — 4800 block Niagara, 11 p.m. March 16; 2900 block Adrian, 4:52 a.m. March 20; 4800 block Niagara, 11:08 p.m. March 25
• Grand Theft (over $950): 12 reports
• Petty Theft/Shoplifting: 20 reports
• Vandalism: 19 incidents
• Vehicle Break-ins: 30 reports
• Stolen Vehicles: 18 reports
— Compiled by Point Loma-OB Monthly staff from San Diego police reports.