Jeffersonton VA

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Category: Technology (page 1 of 2)

Beware – IRS Scam can lead to SWATting

SWAT (free clip art)

SWAT (free clip art)

Press release from Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office:

Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office continues to receive reports of IRS scam operations, and Sheriff Scott Jenkins is warning residents that there is a new element to the scam: “swatting.”

The crime of “swatting” is making a hoax call to 9-1-1 to draw a response from law enforcement, usually a SWAT team, and CCSO had an incident of it this weekend, when deputies responded to an unfounded report of a person with a gun in the 14600 block of Carrico Mills Road at about 6 p.m. Friday, May 15, 2015. When deputies arrived, they found that the resident did not call 911, but they had received an IRS scam call in which the caller told them that they owed thousands of dollars to be brought immediately to a Washington, DC address or they would be arrested. When the victim told the caller they would borrow the money from their Police Officer friend, the call disconnected, and the caller sought revenge by reporting a person with a gun at the victim’s residence.

Residents are encouraged to report IRS scam calls to Culpeper dispatch (540.727.7900) so that dispatchers can give the additional information to responding deputies if they receive a subsequent “swatting” call.

As a reminder, the IRS reports that they will NEVER:
– call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency 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, or
– threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

And:
Caller ID “spoofing,” which allows the caller to adopt a fake phone number and/or name, may be another element of the operation, so residents should not automatically assume the information displayed in their caller ID accurately identifies the caller.

IRS Scams Reported in Culpeper County

IRS Tax scam (free clip art)

IRS Tax scam (free clip art)

Press release from Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office:

Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office continues to receive reports of IRS scam operations – for a total of 18 since January 1.

The caller identifies himself (or herself) as an employee of the Internal Revenue Service and tells the victim that they owe unpaid taxes. If the victim protests, the caller may ask for their social security number for confirmation. This is an identity theft scam to obtain personal information, including birthdates, bank account information, and credit card numbers. To obtain money, they may threaten to freeze the victim’s assets or send law enforcement to arrest them. Conversely, the caller may tell the victim that they are due a refund to obtain personal information.

Caller ID “spoofing,” which allows the caller to adopt a fake phone number and/or name, may be another element of the operation, so residents should not automatically assume the information displayed in their caller ID accurately identifies the caller. Some victims are reporting that the call/message is automated.

The IRS reports that they will NEVER:
– call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency 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, or
– threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

In addition to telephone scams, residents should be wary of e-mail phishing scams, where the e-mail appears to be from the IRS and includes a link to a fake web site intended to mirror the official IRS web site (e.g., IRSgov – without a dot between “IRS” and “gov). Clicking on the link or an attachment may download malicious software onto a computer. The IRS asks that recipients forward the e-mail to phishing@irs.gov.

Wireless Internet Comes To Jeffersonton Community Center

Joe Lenig

Joe Lenig

Jeffersonton, VA – Virginia Broadband, LLC (VABB) of Culpeper VA installed Wireless Internet Access November 20, 2013 in the Jeffersonton Community Center using the fixed wireless radio frequency tower on the Clevenger’s Corner water tower. VABB volunteered to provide the free Internet service as part of a community service outreach project.

VABB became involved in the process of providing Internet service to the Jeffersonton Community Center when the President, Robert M Sullivan, read a Letter to the Editor in the Culpeper Star-Exponent in April 2013. The letter, written by Jeffersonton resident Linda Bradshaw, wrote about the lack of availability of the Internet to many residents in the Jeffersonton area, and discussed the importance of Internet access to students.

Linda Bradshaw

Linda Bradshaw

Sullivan emailed Bradshaw, and offered the services of VABB to the Jeffersonton Community Center, in the interest of community service. A series of emails ensued between VABB employee Joe Lenig, Bradshaw, and Jeffersonton Community Center President Loni Colvin; negotiations for free Wi-Fi service began in earnest. Final details were arranged between Lenig and Colvin.

According to Lenig, no passwords are required, there are no usage limitations. The router is set at “full-open” at 10mbps (mega-bytes per second) range down and 2mbps up.

“I am pleased that I could be both catalyst and facilitator in the process of bringing Wireless Internet access to the Jeffersonton Community Center. This brings Internet access much closer to the many Jeffersonton residents who cannot get Internet at home. This generous move from VABB could enrich the lives of many local families” said Bradshaw. “It should be noted, however, that the Jeffersonton Community Center has no plans at this time to provide supervision for minors, and no computers are on-site. This is not an after-school care program, and parents should not allow their children to come to the center unsupervised.”

About Virginia Broadband: Virginia Broadband is a high-speed wireless broadband Internet service provider located in Culpeper, VA. It is located at 14115 Lovers Lane Suite 135, Culpeper, VA 22701. For more information about Virginia Broadband, go to http://www.vabb.com

About Jeffersonton Community Center: Jeffersonton Community Center is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to serving the needs of the Jeffersonton VA community. It is located at 5073 Jeffersonton Rd, Jeffersonton, VA 22724. For more information about the Jeffersonton Community Center, go to http://jeffersontoncommunitycenter.com.

Angelic Robotics and Robo Hamsters Club Delight Jefferson Ruritan Club at October Meeting

Jeremy Vesperman, Colleen Vesperman, Paige the Robot

Jeremy Vesperman, Colleen Vesperman, Paige the Robot

Community Service Organization Jefferson (VA) Ruritan hosted Colleen and Jeremy Vesperman, of Angelic Robotics, and the Robo Hamsters Club of Culpeper as their featured speakers and presenters at their October 15, 2013 general membership meeting at the Jeffersonton Community Center in Jeffersonton VA.

The Ruritans learned how the Robo Hamsters Club consists of students in grades K-12, is affiliated with the FIRST organization (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology,) and was formed only two years ago.

The purpose, goals and achievements of the Robo Hamsters were explained during the course of the presentation. Jeremy explained that one of the valuable lessons taught to the students participating in the FIRST program is “Gracious Professionalism – to work together even if you are competing against them.”

Jeremy informed the Ruritans that the Robo Hamsters participate in competitions with other Robotics clubs. One of the competitions this past April held in St. Louis, MO, during the World’s Competition included Robots built by different clubs playing team games involving offense and defense, with scoring accomplished by tossing a Frisbee through a goal.

Jeremy Vesperman, Buddy Williams, Fred Creasy, and Perry Cabot admire Paige the Robot before the Jefferson Ruritan Club meeting October 15, 2013

Jeremy Vesperman, Buddy Williams, Fred Creasy, and Perry Cabot admire Paige the Robot before the Jefferson Ruritan Club meeting October 15, 2013

“Paige,” the wireless remote-controlled robot, built by the Robo Hamsters, delighted the Ruritan club members by moving forwards, backwards, spinning, and demonstrating the movements that enable it to toss Frisbees and climb a pyramid made from pipes during different competitions.

Surprised to learn that the budget for the Paige robot was $17,000, the Ruritans quickly understood why the Robo Hamsters Club is actively looking for donations and sponsors. Money raised helps fund their pursuit of continuing to provide the opportunities for students in the Culpeper area to participate in the FIRST mission:  “to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.”

Sponsors of the Robo Hamsters are rewarded with logo stickers on the robots, their names on T-shirts worn by team members, and banners that are displayed at the competitions.

About the Robo Hamsters Club:

 Colleen Vesperman is the spokesperson for The Robo Hamsters Club. The club is Culpeper Virginia’s FIRST robotics team. The Robo Hamsters club, based in Culpeper, has four different divisions covering ages 6-18.  The Club participates in robotics competitions around the state and in St. Louis, Missouri if they earn their way into the World’s Competition (held in April.)

The Robo Hamsters Club is affiliated with the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) organization.

More information about the Robo Hamsters Club can be found at http://angelicrobotics.org/

About FIRST:

FIRST, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity, was founded in 1989 to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology.

The FIRST mission is to: “is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.”

More information about FIRST can be found at http://www.usfirst.org/.

About Jefferson Ruritans:

The Jefferson Ruritan Club (Jeffersonton, VA) was chartered in 1947 and is part of Ruritan National’s Rapidan District. More information about the Jefferson Ruritan Club can be found at http://jeffersonruritans.com.

About Ruritan:

  Ruritan is a civic service organization made up of local clubs in urban areas, small towns and rural communities. Ruritan National has nearly 30,000 members throughout the United States. Club membership represents a cross-section of the community in which the club serves, and is not restrictive with regard to occupation, social position, or any other specific criteria.

The first Ruritan Club was chartered May 21, 1928, in Holland, Virginia. Since that first club, Ruritan has grown throughout the United States of America, and in doing so, has become “America’s Leading Community Service Organization.”

Ruritan’s purpose is to create a better understanding among people and through volunteer community service, make America’s communities better places in which to live and work.

The slogan of Ruritan is “Fellowship, Goodwill and Community Service.”

More information about the Ruritan National can be found at http://ruritan.org

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