Thursday, May 28, 2015

CIIN closing its bulletin board

As of June 30th, CIIN will close its bulletin board. It has been up for several years and has very few users. Very, very few. On top of that, trying to keep the spam off the board has been nearly a full time job. When I was able to control the spam, the legitimate comments stopped too.

When we find a place to replace the BB, we will post here and on our Twitter account about it. CIIN is on Twitter at

As of now we have heard about a Facebook page that might be suitable. We'll let you know. -J

Monday, May 18, 2015

The IRS will never...

This is off subject for ToxTalk, but I can't fathom the number of times people have fallen for scams regarding the IRS. And since it is just past the filing deadline, people who have problems with their taxes or who are terrified of the IRS might get hit by these kinds of scams.

So here is a blurb from the IRS web site:

The IRS reminds people that they can know pretty easily when a supposed IRS caller is a fake. Here are five things the scammers often do but the IRS will not do. Any one of these five things is a tell-tale sign of a scam. 

The IRS will never:

    Call to demand immediate payment, nor will we call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill..

    Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.

    Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.

    Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

    Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money, here’s what you should do:

    If you know you owe taxes or think you might owe, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. The IRS workers can help you with a payment issue.

    If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to believe that you do, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 1.800.366.4484 or at

    You can file a complaint using the FTC Complaint Assistant; choose “Other” and then “Imposter Scams.” If the complaint involves someone impersonating the IRS, include the words “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.

Remember, too, the IRS does not use unsolicited email, text messages, or any social media to discuss your personal tax issue. For more information on reporting tax scams, go to and type “scam” in the search box.

The IRS is huge and can be scary, but in my several contacts with it, the people have always been ... what's the word I'm looking for?... Oh yeah, Human! There are certainly exceptions, and those exceptions have bred the image of the IRS being frightening. Just do not let the scary reputation of the agency lead you into being a victim of scammers.  -J