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Beware of Tax Time ID Theft

Just when you thought that you’ve done all that was needed to file your taxes this year…you get an URGENT email from the IRS that something is wrong and you must reply right away. Don’t!

Phishing emails and text messages are the preferred forms of communication for a variety of recent tax time scams. While they may appear to come from the IRS, they are actually designed by scammers to:

  • Lure you into clicking on malicious links that install malware capable of stealing the personal information on your computer, smartphone or tablet
  • Have you provide “missing” personal information, such as your social security number
  • Pay them via a wire transfer or preloaded debit card with a threat of arrest if you do not comply

Scammers and thieves know that we have been “trained” to fear the IRS and they prey on our emotions. Over the years, many taxpayers have encountered individuals impersonating IRS officials – in person, over the telephone and via email.

What you should know…the IRS doesn’t initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media about a tax bill/refund or to request personal or financial information.This includes requests for PIN numbers, passwords or similar access information for credit cards, banks or other financial accounts.In fact, the IRS initiates most contacts through regular mail or “notices” delivered by the United States Postal Service.

  • Forward an unsolicited email claiming to be from the IRS, or an IRS-related component like the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, to the IRS at phishing@irs.gov.
  • Report phone scams to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on FTC.gov. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.

While the IRS has instituted new programs and resources to try and prevent tax ID theft, they warn that crooks continue to find new, more sophisticated ways to capitalize on our money. That’s why they have a comprehensive list of information about tax-time identity theft and helpful links at http://www.irs.gov/uac/Identity-Protection.

California Casualty has been serving the needs of educators since 1951 and is the only auto and home insurance company to earn the trust and endorsement of the National Education Association (NEA). As a result, NEA members qualify for exceptional rates, deductibles waived for vandalism or collisions to your vehicle parked at school, holiday or summer skip payment plans and free Identity Defense protection – exclusive benefits not available to the general public. Learn how to save by getting a quote at www.neamb.com/autohome, or by calling 1.800.800.9410.

CalCas Pres Letter COVID-19

California Casualty’s Response to COVID-19

California Casualty is dedicated to preserving the health and safety of IEA Members and our employees. We are monitoring this ever-changing public health situation by the hour. This is an unprecedented time for everyone – a time that, for many, is filled with uncertainty. Our hearts and thoughts go out to each and every one of you.

Our primary focus is to minimize disruptions to our policyholders as we respond to concerns about the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). California Casualty remains committed to doing everything we can to serve your members, while keeping our employees safe.   

IEA Members can expect to continue to receive excellent service from California Casualty. The best ways to reach us include:

  • Contacting us by phone at 1.800.800.9410. You can make a payment, file a claim, manage your account balance or ask a question.
  • Managing your policies online through the “Manage Your Policy” section of www.calcas.com website. You can pay your insurance bill, manage your policies, file a claim, or connect with us.
  • New Accounts Representatives are available for purchasing a policy or requesting a quote, you may call 1.866.680.5142, please select option 2.
  • Online “Click-to-Chat” option is also available for service.

California Casualty is following recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), taking advantage of technology and making operational modifications as this situation evolves. We have cancelled all non-essential business travel, meetings and conferences for all employees, including our local field representatives. Our service centers are utilizing social distancing, undergoing deep cleaning, along with deploying telecommuting options for employees who may need to work from home to help ensure their health and safety and that of their family members. We are encouraging company communication with clients via virtual meetings through teleconference calls and video conferences.

Thank you for your patience as we all pull together in support of our communities, customers and employees. 

Work From Home

MEMBER BENEFITS ADJUSTS TO DEAL WITH COVID-19

You have seen from other communications from the IEA that the state office in Boise is closed due to the virus.  As a consequence, the two staff members of IEA Member Benefits have had to vacate the building.  However, at the state level and the national level, adjustments have been made to insure that all of our members continue to receive the valuable benefits that come with their membership.  Those two IEA Member Benefits staff are working remotely from their homes and can continue to provide assistance if necessary.

Director Dick Chilcote can be reached at email:  dchilcote@idahoea.org; Member Benefits Associate Collette Elton can be reached at celton@idahoea.org.  They have had to abandon their office phones to work from home so if you have a specific question that needs some further explanation by phone, in your email please include your phone contact.  The NEA Member Benefits staffer, David Glenn, who works with Idaho can be reached by phone at 1-800-360-1296.  All three can assist if you have questions. 

And…there are several online references to inform you about your benefits:

NEA Member Benefits: www.neamb.com

IEA Member Benefits: ieamemberbenefits.org

One of the most popular benefits for members is the Educator Access Discount Program.  With this benefit you can get discounts on hundreds of thousands of purchases locally, nationally, and online.  We have been informed that you can continue to receive those discounts uninterrupted (if you can find a discount at a location that is open 🙂).  This benefit continued unabated even through the recent earthquake in Salt Lake City where the benefit is headquartered.

You will find other stories in this month’s newsletter about how your benefits are being modified to insure that your membership remains valuable.

From the IEA President

"IEA Member Benefits program provides education professionals with savings, discounts, products and services to enrich their professional and personal lives. This is an amazing program and an added benefit to being a member of the Idaho Education Association."

Layne McInelly
President
Idaho Education Association

Contact Info

208.344.8336 / 800.223.6583  
ieamemberbenefits.org
celton@idahoea.org

IEA Member Benefits Corporation
620 N 6th Street - Boise Idaho 83702

Copyright 2017 © All Rights Reserved

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