It's tax time, and the warnings about scams are out.
Dennis McCabe of the state attorney general's office cautioned diners at the senior meal site this week at Elm Park Methodist Church in Oneonta about e-mail messages or checks delivered through the mail that appear official but are fake. A recipient would be asked to send money "by wire transfer immediately," or deposit a check, he said.
However, the transaction could deplete the recipient's account, sometimes taking a life's savings, McCabe, assistant attorney general in charge of the Binghamton office, said.
McCabe said he learned in elementary school that repetition sometimes is needed before a lesson sticks. The warnings may seem old, but scammers continue to find victims, he said, and a repeated caution may prevent a costly crime.
"Be careful," McCabe said. The checks or e-mails may be turned over to law enforcement authorities, he said.
Dianne Besunder, IRS spokeswoman for New York, also warned taxpayers about e-mails that appear to be from the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS never solicits taxpayers, she said. Recipients shouldn't respond to the e-mailed messages but may forward them to firstname.lastname@example.org to help the IRS investigate scammers, she said.
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., doesn't like to be a stranger to constituents.
This past week, he stopped in Oneonta to visit Ioxus Inc., a manufacturer of ultracapacitors, and to discuss the firm's successes and a recently created partnership with Binghamton University. After a formal appearance at a media conference, local dignitaries sat down with Schumer in the Ioxus break room to talk about needs and issues in the area.
Oneonta Mayor Dick Miller, Oneonta town Supervisor Robert Wood, Otsego County Rep. Richard Murphy, D-Oneonta, and board Chairman Rep. Floyd "Sam" Dubben Jr., R-Middlefield, among other leaders, were present. Topics mentioned included rebuilding the Pony Farm Road bridge, protecting small banks, economic stimulus funding and federal allocations to area municipalities.
Schumer said he would take his homework back to Washington, D.C., where Congress is focusing on "jobs, jobs and jobs." He also shared appreciation for local weather.
"I'm glad to leave the snowy tundra of Washington, D.C.," he said in opening remarks Monday, "and come to the sunny warmth of Oneonta."
Two organizations have started a program to support enrollment and graduation rates at private colleges and universities.
The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and the Council of Independent Colleges introduced their project, Building Blocks to 2020, during a recent NAICU annual membership meeting in Washington, D.C.
Building Blocks to 2020 has two primary objectives, according to a media release. The first is to share information about efforts by private colleges and universities to expand enrollment, to increase graduation rates in areas of national need, and to enroll and support at-risk students. The second goal is to disseminate successful practices.
"President Obama's intent to increase the college-going and college graduation rate is a worthy goal," CIC President Richard Ekman said in the release. "Statistics already document the success of independent colleges and universities in retention and graduation. Our institutions will now build on that existing record as partners in reaching the president's goal."
Staff writer Denise Richardson covers health, business and colleges.