As tax day draws near, officials are advising taxpayers to avoid scammers who try to get personal information by pretending to be the IRS. Taxpayers are under pressure to get their taxes completed soon, so this is the perfect time for phishing scams because they try to take advantage of you during a stressful period of time when. They even threaten taxpayers by saying their taxes won’t get processed in time if they don’t hand over important information to them.
If you receive any e-mails from so-called IRS authorities, it is a scam. They may request details including passwords, PIN numbers, or possibly bank account information. Do not click any links or open attachments, and forward it to email@example.com. The e-mail may appear like it’s from the IRS, and they may use the official IRS logo.
You should never respond to these messages since the IRS says they will never contact taxpayers through e-mail. They will also never request financial or personal information from a taxpayer. Another sign a message is fake is if it claims to be from the IRS, however it links to a website other than www.IRS.gov, such as a .com or .net. An attachment or link place a harmful virus on your computer, so avoid clinking on anything within the e-mail. If you hear from someone claiming to be the IRS through any method of communication, such as phone, mail, or letter, it is best to contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 to see if they actually need to reach you, and verify that it isn’t a scam, according to news reports.
The founder of a driving school recently described the many risks associated with putting a teenager behind the wheel. An article recently published by CNN details the many recent wrecks involving teens, one that left someone with a plastic eye, metal rods for legs, and a nose reconstruction surgery. The many injuries and deaths involving teen drivers continue to rise, and those numbers drastically increased concerning distractions. The driver in the incident described by CNN can now walk, but his family said that many parents of teen drivers do not have the same luck. Three collisions within three days resulted in the deaths of 15 teens. His parents said he didn’t want any other parents to experience the grief of knowing their child was seriously injured or died due to sending a text message.
For ages 15-20, car wrecks are top cause of fatalities, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Traffic fatality rates are dropping over the past decades, but these rates are still high. Every time a teen driver gets behind the wheel of a car, they are a significant risk to themselves, passengers, and others on the roadway. In 2010, 2,700 were killed ages 16-19 due to crashes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 282,000 required treatment for injuries sustained during an auto accident, and drivers aged 15-19 are three times more likely to get into a fatal collision compared to older drivers.
The driving school founder said those figures are shocking, and he hopes those numbers can help parents of teen drivers to realize the seriousness of the problem, and that teens need to know they are responsible for not only themselves, but everyone else on the road. Texting is very dangerous because drivers need to keep the ye on the road ahead of them and look for dangers including animals leaping into the road. Wrecks are more likely to happen within the first few months after a teen gets licensed, and over half of teen deaths happen due to weekend car wrecks.
There is new technology hoping to keep teens more sage, including a graduated licensing system. Parents can put tracking technology that records a teen driver’s habits, and teens can also install an app that helps track their braking and acceleration and offers feedback, according to news reports. Despite all these advances, he says that parents must work to enforce rules and keep their children safe.
24 people from 15 states became ill due to an outbreak of E. coli. 196,222 pounds of frozen chicken quesadilla are undergoing a recall by Rich Products Corporation because they could be tainted. An investigation was announced into the product beginning March 19. The frozen foods were sold across the country in stores such as Walmart and Alco. 78% of those who became ill are 21 and over, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Customers are urged to throw out the product or return it immediately. Cases of illness have surfaced in Virginia, Texas, Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York, according to news reports.
During the second trial in the Depuy hip implant case, a former employee explained that he got an email from a co-worker who said there were problems the company found with the design of the implant. The email was received nearly a year before the device was recalled due to a high rate of failure. The trial is the second lawsuit of 10,000 in total, the first concluded with a $8.3 million verdict for the victim of the implant, which was recalled for many reasons, including bone loss, pain, metal ions shedding into the bloodstream, and fluids around the hip joint, according to news reports.
Approximately 41,000 freezers were recalled in November 2010. They pose a fire hazard due to the chances the circuits could overheat. Customers are urged to unplug the freezer as soon as possible and contact the company for details on a repair. The product is a 7.0 cubic food freezer with “Haier” printed in the corner. There have been 18 reported cases of minor property damage, including three fires. The freezers were made in China and sold across the country and online, according to news reports.
Approximately 9,400 remote-controlled helicopters were recalled because the rechargeable batter might overheat, causing the helicopter to ignite in flames. This also poses a serious burn hazard for consumers. Anyone who owns the Banshee 3 Channel helicopter needs to return it immediately in order to get a full refund. The products have specific serial numbers with various colors including black and yellow or black and red. They have gotten one report of an overheating helicopter which led to property damage. They were made in China and sold at several different stores including Ace Hardware for about $40, according to news reports.
The Window Covering Safety Council is reminding parents and caretakers to use cordless window coverings after a tragic accidental strangling of a young child on Tuesday. The Consumer Product Safety Commission said corded window coverings are in the top five hidden hazards in homes. Most accidents involve older products that don’t have the safety upgrades that have become standard in the last decade. Parents are urged to follow safety guidelines including installing only cordless window coverings, moving all furniture away from windows and cords, and keeping all pull cords out of reach, according to news reports.
A recall of dry pet food was expanded because the product could be tainted with salmonella. The US Food and Drug Administration warned customers to avoid the product. The problem was discovered by state agricultural departments. Natura Pet Products announced the recall of other products they made during the same time period. The products were sold across the country along with several other countries including Japan and Korea. They have specific expiration dates for dry cat food and dry cat treats, according to news reports.
New Jersey state is recommending that medical products made by a Monmouth County company be removed from shelves due to safety concerns that intravenous fluids could be tainted. The product, produced by Med Prep Consulting, could be contaminated with floating particles. Health care facilities that received this product are asked to remove them immediately. The company agreed to stop operations March 22, and the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control are currently monitoring the issue, according to news reports.
Many drivers fail written tests, but that number may be higher than you realize. Recent results from CarInsurance.com show that half of 500 drivers failed to pass a test given to them. So, if you’re driving down the road and look at a driver next to you, one of you couldn’t pass. The test involves questions such as signs and rights of way. Most questions missed by test takers include when to stop for pedestrians and buses. Only two women and one man received perfect scores. Women averaged 78%, men 71%, and drivers under 40 scored worse, with an average of 67%.
The first driver’s license was issued in Mannheim, Germany in 1888. The first license in the US was 25 cents and a driver could get one by mail, without needing to pass any safety or skill tests. In 1903, Massachusetts and Missouri issued driver’s license tests, however they didn’t start testing until many years later. South Dakota waited until 1954 to mandate driver’s licenses, with tests starting in 1959. So, although the license is as old as vehicles, testing did not become common until more recently. Graduated driving systems have also altered the way licenses are given to teenage drivers, and the test to get those licenses have not changed much during the past decade. In 2011, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the test was “weak,” especially when compared with other countries. There are 25 questions that take 25 minutes, and minimum passing requirements are 70-85%. Many states report a majority of its drivers failing the test. Missouri had 61% fail the written portion, while Mississippi had 60% fail, with Florida at 58%. Most drivers can re-take the test after waiting a day.
Considering failure rates for written and road tests, and surveys of drivers in each state, the NHTSA found that driving tests are mostly the same. The easiest tests were found to be in Arkansas, West Virginia, and Iowa. Many fail due to poor preparation, and a driving instructor advises that driving students read the road rules manual for their state and take practice tests.
For those struggling to pass, the good news is you can keep trying and failures will not be on your driving record. One driver in South Korea took the written test 960 times before passing. Autonomous cars could change the need for driver’s tests in the not-too-distant future, as well, according to news reports.