Thursday, February 22, 2024

IRS letters from White House not a scam

by TERRI DICKERSON/CDA Press Consumer Gal
| May 20, 2021 1:00 AM

Several readers reported that they have received an envelope from the Internal Revenue Service but the letter inside is actually from the White House and signed by Joe Biden. I received one of these letters too.

The letter outlines how much money was issued for your stimulus payment and tells you to visit a website for more information. The IRS says the letter is a Notice 1444-C for the 1021 Stimulus Payment, and it's legitimate.

The IRS further states, “After each of the three Economic Impact Payments is issued, the IRS is required to mail a notice to each recipient’s last known address.”

The notice provides information about the amount of the payment, how it was made and how to report any payment that wasn’t received.

Some may receive multiple notices about each payment. Most people will simply file the notice with their tax records. No reply is necessary unless the amount stated on the letter is incorrect.

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Service delays as growth plagues the area

A Post Falls reader emailed me about a recent experience he had with his dentist. As growth in our area continues to explode, the reader’s scenario will be repeated often and across many types of service.

On a recent Saturday the reader had a tooth break off. Since he wasn’t experiencing pain, he waited until Monday to call his dentist.

The dentist did get him in that day to take a quick look and scheduled him to get a crown. The problem was that the first available appointment for the crown was over three weeks out for either of the dental practice’s offices.

The reader called two days later to see if anything sooner had opened up, but it had not. He was also told these wait times are becoming common at the dental practice due to the rapid growth in our area.

I've experienced similar wait times for veterinary services so I sympathize with the reader.

In the end, the reader decided to seek care at a dental practice in Spokane and was able to be seen two weeks earlier. Spokane has also seen population growth but it appears not to the extent the Coeur d’Alene area has.

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Fake notices about packages you didn’t order

Shopping online can be convenient, economical and save time. But more and more readers are reporting that they're receiving email informing them their package is on the way or has been delayed and that their account has been charged for the item.

Amazon seems to be a popular company scammers use because the likelihood of the victim having an Amazon account is high. Some readers are getting these emails daily.

The problem is the item that's supposedly being shipped isn’t something the reader ordered. These are phishing attempts to get you to call the number in the message or click on a link so they can get your personal information.

Don’t answer these notices. Whenever you order something online, be sure to keep a copy of the order, the date you ordered it and how it is to be shipped to you. This way if you receive a phishing shipping notification, you can compare it to what you're expecting and it will be obvious it is a scam notification.

Scammers often use the names, logos and color schemes of major shipping companies and retailers to add legitimacy to their messages. They may also spoof the company’s web address in the sender’s email address.

Costco, Amazon and Walmart are just a few of the companies scammers like to target since the odds are many of us shop at one or all of these companies.

Remain vigilant for notices about products you didn't order. Check your accounts often to make sure you don’t incur unauthorized charges.

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Bogus Social Security liens

A Coeur d’Alene reader emailed to say he received a robocall from 208-661-9631 threatening to hold up his Social Security and place a lien on his payments.

The Social Security Administration does not hold up payments or place liens against recipients. This is a scare tactic to get people to respond.

The number was spoofed — it belongs to an individual in Twin Falls.

Just hang up on these calls. If you're concerned about what you're hearing, call a legitimate number to verify what is being said.

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Remember: I’m on your side.

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If you have encountered a consumer issue that you have questions about or think our readers should know about, please send me an email at or call me at 208-274-4458. As The CDA Press Consumer Gal, I’m here to help. I’m a copywriter working with businesses on marketing strategy, a columnist, a veterans advocate and a consumer advocate living in Coeur d’Alene.