There seem to be more reports this year than ever of ID Theft and Tax Return Fraud here in Wilkes County. According to IRS.gov, tax-related identity theft occurs when someone uses your stolen Social Security number to file a tax return claiming a fraudulent refund. Generally, an identity thief will use your SSN to file a false return early in the year. You may be unaware you are a victim until you try to file your taxes and learn one already has been filed using your SSN. This week, the Wilkes Sheriff's Office received another report this time from a Wilkesboro resident. The victim advised that she had been notified by mail and by phone that someone had filed a tax return in her and her husband's name. The woman is already in contact with the IRS about the problem. If you find that you have become a victim of ID Theft and Tax Fraud, you should: File a report with law enforcement, File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, Contact one of the three major credit bureaus to place a ‘fraud alert’ on your credit records, and Contact your financial institutions to close any accounts opened without your permission or tampered with. Also the IRS advises, if your SSN is compromised and you know or suspect you are a victim of tax-related identity theft, take these additional steps: Respond immediately to any IRS notice by calling the number provided, Complete the IRS Form--Identity Theft Affidavit, and Continue to pay your taxes and file your tax return, even if you must do so by paper. More information on ID Theft and Tax Fraud can be found at IRS.gov
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Over 1300 dollars in power tools was stolen from an outbuilding at a property off Brushy Mtn Road. The victim reported her property stolen from an outbuilding behind her residence . The theft was of several power tools including a Fluke Multimeter, Tormex Grinder, Dewalt Skil Saw, a Dewalt cordless drill kit, and a Black and Decker cordless drill. The stolen tools are valued at $1,339. Mrs Baity said that keys for her husband's 2001 Chevrolet pick-up were also missing. The victim advised the tools were all in the building Saturday night; however, after church on Sunday, they noticed the break-in at the building. There is no word on suspects.
The Wilkes Sheriff's Office was called this week to investigate a couple of reports of vandalism to property. One report was from Purlear and the other from Boomer. In the first, the president of the Buck Mountain Property Owners Association said that someone over the past 36 hours has damaged a Memorial Stone on the property. Damages were listed at 300 dollars. Then, a Boomer resident reported mailbox damages. The victim stated that sometime in the middle of the night that her mailbox was busted. The victim stated that she did not hear any sounds, but when she woke up that morning, she noticed the mailbox. Damages were estimated at 100 dollars. No suspects were given with either report.
MerleFest, slated for April 23-26, is pleased to announce the return of the Acoustic Kids Showcases to the 2015 festival. Young pickers and singers are encouraged to apply before the April 1 deadline in order to perform during the showcases. The Acoustic Kids Showcases allow the next generation of pickers, singers and other traditional-style performers to highlight their talents for music fans at the four-day festival. Participants selected will be notified by April 15. Selection is not based on how advanced a child’s performance might be, but rather it is based on a child's confidence in performing at his or her level. In fact, beginners are encouraged to apply. A printable application for the Acoustic Kids Showcases, and additional instructions and details about the showcases, may be found at www.MerleFest.org/YouthShowcases/.
Crowned as one of the world's five major stand up paddleboard races for 2015 by Australia's SUPracer.com, The Carolina Cup, celebrating its fifth year, returns to Wrightsville Beach, April 22-26. Expected to grow from 750 participants last year to well over 1,000 in 2015, The Carolina Cup features a weeklong family-friendly festival, including clinics, exhibits, demonstrations, and special events all culminating with four stand up paddleboard races to meet the spectrum of skills from beginner to world-class Olympians and professionals. Again, the world race is coming to Wrightsville Beach, NC, April 22-26.
Governor McCrory hosted a recognition reception for organizers, volunteers, and sponsors of the North Carolina State Employees Combined Campaign (SECC) this week. In 2014, more than 18,000 state employees donated nearly $3.8 million to the SECC. The donations make a positive impact on the lives of individuals and families across the state. "Since 1985, the SECC has raised more than $99 million to support charities serving North Carolinians. In 2015, we fully expect to surpass $100 million in an ongoing effort to improve and strengthen our communities,” said Director Neal Alexander. As the only charitable campaign permitted in the state workplace, the SECC provides state employees the opportunity to plan and pay for contributions to over 1,000 charities in North Carolina through their payroll deductions. Donations are tax-deductible. To learn more about the SECC, visit www.ncsecc.org.
Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., has introduced legislation to stretch the limited funds available to the Highway Trust Fund by exempting it from the 1931 Davis-Bacon Law’s outdated, wasteful labor requirements. “With Highway Trust Fund deficits expected to hit $157 billion by 2024, ...,” said Foxx. “Big Labor should not continue to use this Depression-era legislation as a shield to line its own pockets at the expense of non-union workers and taxpayers.” According to a 2011 Joint Economic Committee report, Davis-Bacon inflated labor costs by 22 percent. Researchers at Suffolk University also found the 1931 Law cost U.S. taxpayers $8.6 billion annually and adds 9.9 percent to construction costs. By removing the Davis-Bacon’s implications, H.R. 1483, the Highway Trust Fund Reform Act, would free up funds to create more market-priced construction jobs and more affordable, timely completed projects.
The Wilkes Sheriff's Office is investigating the report of fraud involving a Wilkes victim and Craigslist. The victim advised that he purchased a Yamaha R6 from an add on craigslist. The Wilkes County man told Sheriff's Investigators that he purchased the bike from a someone from Utah. He had corresponded with the seller by phone and text message. The victim said that he sent a money gram in the amount of $1800 on 3/14/15. The bike was located in Mississippi and was to be shipped to Wilkes. Since the victim sent the money gram, he has not received the bike, and he has not been able to contact the seller. According to NetSecurity.com, Craigslist is all about no-frills buying and selling. They do give some tips on buying safely: Never give out your real contact information but rather use the Craigslist email, Shop local when possible, Never give out financial information, Avoid using money wiring services, Never buy something without seeing it in person, and Always meet the buyer or seller in a public place.
A stolen vehicle from Wilkes was later found wrecked and abandoned. The Wilkes Sheriff's Office was called to investigate the theft of a 1993 Jeep Cherokee. The victim lives on off Elk Creek Darby Road and reported that the Jeep was stolen from his driveway around 1100 pm on Saturday. The Jeep Cherokee was later located in Leatherwood where it had been involved in a wreck and abandoned. North Carolina Highway Patrol investigated the accident and had the Jeep towed from the scene of the wreck. There is no word on suspects at this time; both the Sheriff's Office and the Highway Patrol are investigating.
Sheltered Aid to Families in Emergencies or SAFE of Wilkes is hosting an Artist and Domestic Violence Survivor to speak April 8th in Wilkesboro. The event was originally scheduled for February but was cancelled due to winter weather. The SAFE event has now been rescheduled. Artist and domestic violence survivor Michelle Johnson Major will speak at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 8th in the Pit Auditorium at Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro. For more information, please call event sponsor SAFE, Inc. at (336) 838-9169.