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7:00 PM Fri, Sept. 21st

Friday Catchall: Bot calls, scams & NCAA prompt green beer

The Friday Catchall:

While you are gearing up for the annual green fest downtown, known as the St. Patty’s Day Pub Crawl, from 1 to 7 p.m. Saturday, March 17, consider the following — which I hope gives you a laugh and also may fuel your desire for another green beer.

• BOT CALLS & SCAMS — My cell phone chimes to life, the caller ID shows a Prescott-area phone number.

“Hello?” I said Thursday afternoon.

Long silence. “This is an important message regarding your credit card accounts…” the recorded message begins.

Click. I hang up — I do not have a credit card. Seriously, my wife and I cut them up years ago; don’t like the temptation.

There ought to be a law, not that they would follow them; they seem to ignore the Do Not Call List.

Forget the recordings — then there are the scams. This is tax return season, with the latest schemes that falsify income, including elaborate ruses involving bogus 1099 forms, the IRS said this week.

It is a common tax scam the IRS sees each year. The agency warns taxpayers to avoid related schemes to erroneously claim tax credits as well as more elaborate schemes that scam artists peddle.

One of the best fixes: choose the right tax preparer, who better understands the differences in tax credentials and qualifications; research the IRS preparer directory and learn how to submit a complaint regarding an unscrupulous tax return preparer. Visit www.irs.gov/chooseataxpro.

Oh, and the Do Not Call List? They say to submit only once; those scofflaws who keep calling are ignoring it — or, beware, you visited a website or signed up for something and, deep down in the fine print, you actually allowed this.

• ARIZONA — I like basketball. It is not my favorite or “love,” like the Denver Broncos (I bleed Broncos orange!); no, watching a basketball game conjures up good memories of junior high.

I was the “team manager.” Couldn’t run (I’m more of a sprinter) and was even worse at shooting a basketball, but being involved was a hoot.

When March Madness comes along each spring, I also think of 1997 when the Arizona Wildcats won it all. Watching those NCAA Finals on TV was an edge-of-the-seat experience!

Well, the Pac-12’s remaining hope, Arizona, fell Thursday night. They weathered some storms this year, but were manhandled by Buffalo. With Arizona State and UCLA out early, Arizona was the "Pac-1" — this year’s last hope for the Pac-12.

Check out the Courier Challenge in sports; I may not do as well as I do when it is football, but I don’t think I’ll finish last this year. Yet, after Arizona’s loss I may need one of those green beers!

How’s your NCAA bracket, still worthy?

• QUOTE – “It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.” — Muhammad Ali, (1942-2016) boxing’s former world champ — “The Greatest.”

• PICK OF THE WEEK – (Proving there’s always something good to do in the Prescott area that’s cheap or free): The Pub Crawl — visit our story on dCourier.com or pick up the March 16 Prescott Kudos for details.

Enjoy!

Community Editor Tim Wiederaenders is the senior editor for The Daily Courier and Prescott Newspapers, Inc. Follow him on Twitter @TWieds_editor. Reach him at 928-445-3333, ext. 2032, or twieds@prescottaz.com.