On Monday, July 28, Huron Township Police responded to a citizen who claimed they were the victim of a fraudulent IRS phone call.
According to Police Chief Everette Robbins, the victim, who lives in the 29000 block of Van Horn Road, stated that they were contacted by telephone regarding a debt that they owed to the IRS.
The fraudulent IRS employee informed the victim that they owed money to the IRS and that they needed to pay immediately to avoid being arrested, Robbins said.
According to Robbins, the victim was advised to buy a Green Dot MoneyPak Card, which is a prepaid card typically used by people who don’t have bank accounts. These cards are readily available at stores like Walmart, CVS and Walgreens.
After loading the card with money, the victim was told to call a phone number and give the card’s PIN number to the fake IRS employee.
According to Robbins, the victim complied with this request and in turn, lost thousands of dollars.
Robbins said that an initial investigation showed that the fraudulent IRS employee is located in a foreign country.
While prepaid phone scams aren’t necessarily new, this type of scam is becoming more prevalent.
Scammers will call and pretend to be a representative of the IRS or utility company, claim that they have a debt to pay off and then advise possible victims to buy Green Dot MoneyPak cards to pay off the debt.
Once the scammers have the card’s PIN number, they will transfer the funds to another card or account.
Scam artists prefer the Green Dot cards because they aren’t linked to bank accounts, and the funds on them are the same as cash and are untraceable.
Consumers can protect themselves from future fraudulent activity
According to the Internal Revenue Service, the IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by phone or email to request personal or financial information. This includes any type of electronic communication such as email, text messages or social media. The IRS uses the federal mail system to send official business to citizens.
According to the Internal Revenue Service, if you owe taxes or think you might, call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040.
If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think that you owe any taxes, then immediately call the IRS if you think you’ve received a fraudulent phone call.
The IRS says that they never ask for PINs, passwords or similar confidential access information related to credit cards or bank accounts.
Possible fraudulent IRS activity should be reported to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484, as well as your local law enforcement agency.
Be weary of any phone calls trying to collect a debt, and keep in mind that many credible organizations don’t accept payment from a prepaid card.
Senior citizens are considered easy prey for fraudulent activity, so keeping them informed about the latest types of scams helps to keep them safe.
Huron Township Police will continue to investigate this incident.
Contact The Huron Hub’s Editor in Chief at ScottBolthouse@HuronHub.com
The Huron Township Police Department is seeking two men who broke into a home in the 23000 block of Waterview Drive in Huron Township on July 13.
According to Police Chief Everette Robbins, the Department of Public Works responded to the residence on Tuesday, July 15 on official business.
Upon arriving at the location, DPW workers noticed damage to the front door of the residence, promoting them to contact Huron PD.
The resident of the home revealed that they had been a victim of an armed home invasion in the early morning hours of July 13.
According to Robbins, the resident said that two males wearing masks forcefully entered the home with a handgun.
Robbins said the victim, who has a current medical marijuana license, was robbed of cash, jewelry and other electrical items.
Huron PD does not believe that this home invasion was random. Police believe that the marijuana and the cash was the motive for the robbery.
Robbins said the victim did not initially report the crime. Police were first aware of the incident on July 15.
The first suspect that police are seeking is a white male, approximately 200 pounds and six feet-one inches tall, has dark eyes and a skinny bridge to his nose. This suspect carried a orange or pink stun gun.
The second suspect, who brandished a semi-automatic handgun, is a male that is about five feet-ten inches tall. The second suspect’s race is unknown.
Anyone who has further information regarding this incident should contact the Huron Township Police at 734-753-4400.
Traffic enforcement has always been a controversial division of a city or township’s police department.
The common thinking among the public is that the traffic enforcement division is only there to generate revenue.
However, the Huron Township Police Department says traffic enforcement is an important policing program that benefits the community in several ways.
The Huron Hub had the opportunity to do a ride-along with traffic enforcement in July 2014.
Sitting between north and southbound I-275 in a black, tinted Huron Township police Dodge Charger, veteran Officer Fred Yono explained the public’s typical view of traffic enforcement.
“Most people think it’s all a money generator,” said Yono.
“While that’s part of it, this work also benefits the community as well.”
The high-pitch squeal of the police car’s radar can be heard, signaling a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed.
Yono steps on the pedal and the engine accelerates rapidly as he pulls over a car going ten-over the speed limit, which on I-275 is 70 mph.
“If you’re going ten over or more, you’re getting pulled over,” said Yono.
Yono works for the Huron Township Police Department’s traffic division, and while one of his main duties as a traffic officer is to write tickets which generate revenue, his job isn’t limited to those responsibilities alone.
Before joining Huron’s traffic division, Yono worked traffic in Van Buren Township for eight years.
“We do things within the community as well. I work with families on child safety and car seat inspection, and have also organized mock disasters,” said Yono.
A mock disaster is a training exercise where participants are challenged to test the actions they would take in the event of a specific disaster scenario.
“I would love to do a mock disaster here in Huron Township in the future. That was the best thing I have done in my career,” he said.
One of the things that also Yono is most proud of is the fact that the traffic division in Van Buren generated enough revenue to pay for itself while being an asset to the police department’s normal day-to-day operations.
“The traffic division in Van Buren solved problems, assisted on emergency runs and paid for itself,” said Yono.
“We helped to reduce accidents, assisted on other calls and tried to do good things in the community,” he said.
Yono explained that a traffic division is also about visibility.
When people see a police presence on the roads, they naturally slow down, and slower speeds means safer travel.
“We are looking to put one or two more people into traffic,” said Yono.
Chief of Police Everette Robbins had similar things to say about building the traffic division.
“We would like to (in the future) have a more full time traffic unit,” said Robbins.
“This agency is lucky to have a person with Officer Yono’s experience and knowledge,” said Robbins.
The traffic division in Huron doesn’t limit it’s patrols to the freeway, however.
“We work selective enforcement as well — if we receive complaints from citizens, we’ll patrol those high accident or high problem areas,” said Yono.
“I don’t just sit on the freeway. If someone is breaking into your house, I’m going,” he said.
Yono noted that the peaks times for speeders on I-275 is on the weekends, and that he doesn’t hand out many tickets to township residents.
Most of the speeders he pulls over are from Ohio. He also catches several travelers that are in a hurry to get to Cedar Point.
Not all speeders get the full brunt of a ticket. Yono hands out a lot of impeding traffic and five-over tickets. Drivers who are apologetic and aware of their actions tend to be let off with a lighter infraction.
In about two hours, Officer Yono wrote twelve tickets and gave one warning.
As he handed out a ticket a ticket to a speeder, Yono received a response that many people probably wouldn’t expect.
“(The driver) thanked me very much,” said Yono. “You can’t beat that — that means we’re doing a good job.”
Holding on tight, A young festival goer enjoys a beautiful day at the St. Stephen Polish festival in New Boston on Sunday, May 18 2014.
By Scott Bolthouse
Hub Editor in Chief
Screams, laughter, cheers and Polish music could be heard Sunday afternoon on the campus of the St. Stephen Catholic Church in New Boston as residents and families of the Huron area enjoyed a beautiful afternoon at the 66th annual Polish Festival.
The festival, which is held every year on the weekend before Memorial Day, showcased an environment that could elate any young child. The rides, which were run by Maple Leaf Amusements, had that perfect mix of smaller less intense rides for younger kids, and the more high powered rides for teens and adults.
If rides aren’t your forte, don’t be worried. The festival definitely didn’t lack entertainment and food. The live music stage featured bands on all three days of the event, most notably of which was the popular Metro Detroit area band known as Fifty Amp Fuse, who rocked out the stage on Friday and Sunday evening.
Serving traditional Polish food as well as typical American eats, the food building in the middle of the festival was busy all weekend long.
Being that St. Stephen is a Polish festival, it held up to it’s ethnic heritage. The food building located right in the center of the festival grounds featured traditional Polish foods like pierogi, stuffed cabbage, sausage and kielbasa – all of which were extremely delicious.
The festival always features specialty cook-offs as well. Each day of the weekend featured special dishes, including lake perch, BBQ ribs and BBQ chicken.
For the adults out there: yes, the beer prices were reasonable. A $3.00 ticket got you about a pint of beer, which is worth enjoying while listening to some traditional Polish music, or while you take your chances in the adults only vegas tent.
Outside of the normal festival activities, there were multiple raffles for cash and gift baskets, as well as a softball tournament. The festival featured something for everyone.
The St. Stephen annual polish festival is always a great way to welcome spring and summer into Huron Township: even if the weather wasn’t necessarily up to par. If you couldn’t make it down this year, make sure to check it out next May. It is family friendly, reasonably priced and full of different entertainment options.
According to police, the man who held his girlfriend hostage at the Country Meadows mobile home complex last night surrendered peacefully around 12:30 a.m.
The incident started around 3:30 p.m. on Monday when the unidentified man told police he would shoot his girlfriend if they tried to gain entry into the house. Huron Township Police and The Downriver Mutual Aid Task Force responded with a SWAT team and a negotiator.
Following hours of negotiation, police were able to get him to come out of the home and at that point, the man was taken into custody.
The victim only had minor injuries, and no other injuries were reported.