IRS Warns Consumers of Possible Scams Relating to Orlando Mass-Shooting
WASHINGTON ― The Internal Revenue Service today issued a consumer alert about possible fake charity scams emerging due to last weekend’s mass-shooting in Orlando, Fla., and encouraged taxpayers to seek out recognized charitable groups.
When making donations to assist victims of last weekend’s terrible tragedy, there are simple steps taxpayers can take to ensure their hard-earned money goes to legitimate charities. IRS.gov has the tools taxpayers need to quickly and easily check out the status of charitable organizations.
While there has been an enormous wave of support across the country for the victims and families of Orlando, it is common for scam artists to take advantage of this generosity by impersonating charities to get money or private information from well-meaning taxpayers. Such fraudulent schemes may involve contact by telephone, social media, e-mail or in-person solicitations.
The IRS cautions donors to follow these tips:
- Be sure to donate to recognized charities.
- Be wary of charities with names that are similar to familiar or nationally known organizations. Some phony charities use names or websites that sound or look like those of respected, legitimate organizations. The IRS website at IRS.gov has a search feature, Organizations Select Check, through which people may find qualified charities; donations to these charities may be tax-deductible.
- Don’t give out personal financial information — such as Social Security numbers or credit card and bank account numbers and passwords — to anyone who solicits a contribution. Scam artists may use this information to steal a donor’s identity and money.
- Don’t give or send cash. For security and tax record purposes, contribute by check or credit card or another way that provides documentation of the gift.
- Consult IRS Publication 526, Charitable Contributions, available on IRS.gov. This free booklet describes the tax rules that apply to making tax-deductible donations. Among other things, it also provides complete details on what records to keep.
Bogus websites may solicit funds for victims of this tragedy. These sites frequently mimic the sites of, or use names similar to, legitimate charities, or claim to be affiliated with legitimate charities in order to persuade people to send money or provide personal financial information that can be used to steal identities or financial resources.
Additionally, scammers often send emails that steer recipients to bogus websites that appear to be affiliated with legitimate charitable causes.
Taxpayers suspecting fraud by email should visit IRS.gov and search for the keywords “Report Phishing.”
More information about tax scams and schemes may be found at IRS.gov using the keywords “scams and schemes.”
SUMMER SAFETY TIPS
Heat-related illness happens when the body’s temperature control system is overloaded. Infants and children up to 4 years of age are at greatest risk. Even young and healthy people can get sick from the heat if they participate in strenuous physical activities during hot weather. For heat-related illness, the best defense is prevention.
- Never leave infants, children, or pets in a parked car, even if the windows are cracked open.
- Dress infants and children in loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
- Schedule outdoor activities carefully, for morning and evening hours.
- Stay cool with cool showers or baths.
- Seek medical care immediate if your child has symptoms of heat-related illness
Just a few serious sunburns can increase you and your child's risk of skin cancer later in life. Their skin needs protection from the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays whenever they're outdoors.
- Cover up. Clothing that covers your and your child's skin helps protect against UV rays.
- Use sunscreen with at least SPF (sun protection factor) 15 and UVA (ultraviolet A) and UVB (ultraviolet B) protection every time you and your child go outside.
For more important summer safety tips visit http://www.cdc.gov/family/kids/summer/
LAW ENFORCEMENT APPRECIATION WEEK
In an effort to support Law Enforcement Appreciation Week, observed during May 1 – 7, we ask that you stand with us in paying homage to the brave officers who lost their lives in the line of duty this past year. Consider giving a donation as a way to salute our fallen heroes. This is a great way to honor those who are no longer with us as well as celebrate the men and women who continue to protect our communities.
During Law Enforcement Appreciation Week, thousands will gather at the State’s Capitol to support the family and friends of those who have passed. This is a time when we are called to be there for the families who have sacrificed so much in the name of public safety. This is the time when we show our respect, we show our honor, and we take time to remember those we have lost.
How to donate:
1) Visit our website at www.calsheriffs.org, please note (LEW) in the section with your last name to notate that this donation is for Law Enforcement Appreciation Week
2) Call us at 800-761-2772 to donate over the phone with a credit card
3) Mail a payment to: 1231 I Street, Suite 200, Sacramento,CA 95814
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD DONATION FORM
REFER A FRIEND FOR MEMBERHSIP
Calling all members, the California Sheriffs need you! In an effort to promote our highly-regarded membership program, we are offering our Refer-A-Friend promotion. Every existing member who refers a new individual or business to join our organization receives a FREE LAPEL PIN, for themselves and the new member!
As an esteemed existing member, you may be aware that this membership was designed for individuals and businesses that want to take a proactive approach to supporting public safety. Every membership donation helps organize vital training for our sheriffs along with their staff. Our training events deliver crucial knowledge involving modern law enforcement practices, the latest developments in technology, financial practices, administrative processes, basic civil procedures, and much more.
Don’t forget to tell your friends that these donations are tax-deductible! California State Sheriffs’ Association Foundation is a qualified 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. All money contributed, goes directly to our programs and operations and stays in local California communities.
Our sheriffs work hard to protect our communities, but they cannot do it alone! The more members we have, the stronger our voice will be and the broader our services can extend. Don’t wait, this offer is only good while supplies last! Refer your friend today!
Click here to download application.
CALIFORNIA STATE SHERIFFS’ ASSOCIATION
ON EFFORTS TO LEGALIZE RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA
The California State Sheriffs’ Association (CSSA) is concerned with the safety and welfare of all Californians and seeks to preserve the rights of all individuals to live and work in communities where drug abuse is not accepted nor subjected to its adverse effects. We believe the effort to legalize marijuana is contrary to the interests of the public health, safety, and welfare, and therefore are opposed to any attempt to decriminalize the use of this drug for recreational use.
Despite “legalization” efforts in other states, marijuana remains a Schedule I drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act and is defined as having a high potential for abuse. The dangers of marijuana, and the threat to public safety caused by its use in terms of highway safety, criminal activity, and domestic violence, are well-documented.
Statistics from the National Institute on Drug Abuse show that marijuana reduces motor coordination and slows reaction time, a dangerous combination when operating a motor vehicle. In addition, nearly 4.2 million people over the age of 12 had a marijuana abuse or addiction problem in 2011.
Legalization of marijuana will likely increase drug use and health care costs due to abuse and overdoses of the drug. The black market for marijuana will likely remain strong as many drug cartels will not work within a regulatory system that will reveal the extent of their other illegal activities or subject their industry to tax levies and licensure.
One need only to look to Colorado, which recently legalized the recreational use of marijuana, to see the tremendous societal impacts of this misguided effort. Since legalization, Colorado has experienced major increases in fatalities arising from driving under the influence of marijuana. The number of children being exposed to marijuana has grown significantly, as has the injury and damage caused by extraction of concentrated cannabis. Marijuana is being illegally diverted to other states and tax revenues are failing to meet expectations as users are flocking to medical marijuana dispensaries and the thriving black market.
California Sheriffs strongly reject the notion that marijuana is harmless. The marijuana being cultivated today is exponentially more concentrated than that of years ago. The potential for abuse and overdose is extremely great. Law enforcement is on the front lines of the damage, lost lives and broken communities that result from the careless use of this drug. Our message is clear: marijuana is a dangerous drug and California should not legitimize its use.
CSSA Participates in May 7, 2015 Press Conference in Support of “Stepping Up,” a National Initiative to Reduce the Number of Mentally Ill in Jails
Sacramento May 7, 2015 – Today, CSSA participated in a press conference hosted by the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) in support of a national initiative entitled, “Stepping Up” that is being launched this week. The goal of the initiative is to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses in jails. Stepping Up is co-sponsored by the Council on State Governments Justice Center, National Association of Counties, and American Psychiatric Association.
Speakers included Matt Cate, Executive Director – California State Association of Counties; Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens – CSSA Board Member and Major County Sheriffs’ Association 1st Vice President: Chief Probation Officer Mack Jenkins, San Diego County; Senator Robert Hertzberg, D-18th District; Darrell Steinberg, former California State Senate President Pro Tem; Dr. Renee Binder, President-Elect – American Psychiatric Association; Council Member Riki Hokama, Maui County – National Association of Counties President.
Stepping Up Initiative
The number of people with mental illnesses in U.S. jails has reached a crisis level. Those who deal with this problem every day agree that the current approach does little to improve public safety, stresses already strained budgets, and hurts people with mental illness and their loved ones.
Stepping Up seeks to bring local and state stakeholders together around a common goal: to reduce the number of people with mental illness in jails. A collaboration between the National Association of Counties, the Council of State Governments Justice Center and the American Psychiatric Foundation, Stepping Up calls for key actions, including collecting data to determine the extent of the problem within each jail, developing a plan that draws on proven research to combat the problem, and designing an approach to track progress going forward. And everyone – from a local policymaker to a family member of a person with mental illness – can play a critical role in the initiative in bringing this issue to national attention.
Click here for more detailed information on the Stepping Up Initiative and how you can participate. You can also visit https://stepuptogether.org/
IMPORTANT WARNING - PHONE SCAMS
The California State Sheriffs’ Association Foundation (CSSAF) has been recently advised that citizens have received suspicious phone calls that appear to be coming from either our main number 916.375.8000 or our fax number 916.375.8017. This scam involves callers posing as law enforcement and threatening legal action if you do not pay them. If you receive any suspicious calls, DO NOT give out any personal information, such as social security number, bank account numbers, etc., and report these calls to your local law enforcement agency immediately.
Please be advised that the California State Sheriffs’ Association Foundation does not solicit by phone.
LONG-TERM OFFENDERS IN COUNTY JAILS
CSSA SURVEY (as of 4/25/14)
AB 109 REALIGNMENT INFORMATION
AB 109 (Chapter 15, Statutes of 2011) became effective on October 1, 2011. Beginning on October 1 all qualifying low level offenders convicted of non-serious, non-violent, non-sex offenses will begin serving their sentence at the local level rather than in state prison.
Below we have gathered information that has been distributed to our membership regarding realignment. Additionally, we have provided links to other helpful websites related to realignment.
Video - Criminal Justice Realignment - What Counties Need To Know To Implement
Note: Viewers may need to download an add-on to PowerPoint to view. Instructions are on the video page.
Criminal Justice Realignment Implementing Legislation
- California Counties Practice Smart Justice by CSAC
- Voices from the Field: How California Stakeholders View Public Safety Realignment by Joan Petersilia. Stanford Criminal Justice Center, November 2013. This report summarizes the results of interviews conducted with California stakeholders responsible for implementing AB 109.
- Follow the Money: How California Counties Are Spending Their Public Safety Realignment Funds by Jeffrey Lin and Joan Petersilia. Stanford Criminal Justice Center, November 2013. This report examines how counties are spending their money, and the relationship between their discretionary spending choices and county-level differences in crime, political context, community attitudes, economic vitality, and other important demographic and social factors.
- Napa County Jail to Provide Video Visitation for Inmates, Families
By mid-March, friends and family of inmates at the Napa County Jail will visit using video and the Internet, thanks to a video visitation system. Similar to popular Internet applications such as FaceTime and Skype, the video visitation program provides the opportunity for family and friends to connect with inmates regardless of distance and with more flexibility in scheduling.
- Joint Venture Program URL
- CALREALIGNMENT.ORG -The CALrealignment.org website was developed as part of a state-wide conference on criminal justice realignment that was held on September 21 in Sacramento. The website will continue to present information on best practices, assist counties to access technical assistance providers, and make available county realignment plans as they are approved.