The Commencement of Tax Season – and Scams

NJCCIC Alert about Tax Season Scams

The federal tax filing season began this week and threat actors are quickly targeting taxpayers. The NJCCIC observed phishing campaigns attempting to be delivered to New Jersey State employees, with the intent to download and install malware. Threat actors spoofed the sender’s display name to a known source or entity to convince the recipient to trust the email without verifying its legitimacy. The sender’s display name is purported to be from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS); however, upon further inspection, the sender’s domain name was “irs.com” instead of the legitimate “irs.gov.” Additionally, the email signature claimed to be the “Government department” in the IRS to add a false sense of legitimacy and authority.

The subject line displayed “Information Regarding Your Tax Form” to convince their target to open the email and take action. Although the email referenced an attached “TAXFORM.pdf,” it contained an attached Microsoft Word name “Tax Form.doc” that, if clicked, downloads and installs malware. In addition to the IRS, threat actors may also spoof popular tax brands to trick their victims into divulging sensitive information, which can then be used to file fraudulent tax returns, collect refunds, and engage in other identity theft schemes. Additionally, companies required to provide customers with tax documents may also be impersonated in attempts to convince victims into opening malicious links or attachments.

The NJCCIC recommends users and organizations educate themselves and others on these continuing threats and tactics to reduce victimization. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages, or social media channels to send or request personal or financial information. Please review the NJCCIC Product Beware of Tax Scams to learn more about common tax scams—including tax identity theft, IRS impersonation scams, and fraudulent tax preparer scams—and cybersecurity best practices to help protect your identity, data, and tax refunds. Additional tax scams and consumer alerts can be found on the IRS website.

 

JFCS Hosts Virtual Trivia Night Fundraiser Open to Community

Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Greater Mercer County (JFCS) is holding their annual fundraiser on Thursday, February 24, 2022 at 8 PM – a virtual Trivia Night open to the community. 

“Our annual fundraiser is our chance to bring together our supporters, donors, and partners to highlight the agency’s programs and recognize partners who are honored for their dedication over the past year,” said Michelle Napell Executive Director. “This year we are pleased to honor Bristol-Myers Squibb for their commitment to our mission and financial support of our on-site and mobile food pantries.” 

In addition to honoring Bristol-Myers Squibb, the event will include program highlights of JFCS services, particularly the counseling department. 

“Mental health remains an important topic now more than ever as our community, and the world, enter the second full year of the pandemic,” says Napell. “Our counselors have remained flexible, compassionate and committee to their clients through the ups and downs of the past two years.” 

The pandemic has exacerbated mental health concerns amongst many, in addition to the mental and emotional toll felt by all as everyone experiences challenges during the pandemic – isolation, uncertainty, fear. The JFCS counseling department provides individual, couple and family counseling to any in the community who need support. 

“A year ago, we would have hoped to be back in person for our annual fundraiser, but we are confident we’ll be bringing our community (near and far) an engaging and entertaining experience with Trivia Night,” adds Scott Sussman, JFCS Board Vice President and Event Committee Chair. “While everyone may not be able to be together physically, this event will bring a spirit of togetherness and camaraderie to all guests. May the best team win!” 

The virtual event will feature trivia played team-style on Zoom. Guests will be able to form their own teams of 6 – 10 individuals and compete for prizes for the top 3 teams. 

 Event Information including sponsorships and registration can be found on our event site.

Champion Sponsors Abrams Foundation/Nati Kushner, Personal Home Care of NJ, Roundview Capital and Troutman Pepper; Patron Sponsors Access Property Management, Homewatch Caregivers, Lennar and Mercer Bucks Pickleball Club; Partner Sponsor Stark & Stark; and Supporter Sponsors Dundon Advisors, First Bank, Hill Wallack LLP, Jill & Gregg Jaclin, Mercadien, Orland’s Ewing Memorial Chapel, Szaferman Lakind, and Audrey & Marc Wisotsky. 

JFCS: Moving Forward into 2022 with Help, Hope and Healing

The end of year is always a time to reflect and set goals for the year ahead. JFCS is sharing inspiring stories of how our programs have helped the individuals, families and community we serve move forward after another challenging year for all.

Valerie’s Journey of Healing…

Valerie reached out to JFCS after recognizing the severity of the anxiety and depression she was experiencing. After making the commitment to counseling and putting new skills into action, Valerie felt empowered to address the root of her most severe symptoms – low self-esteem caused by lack of boundaries in challenging relationships. By tackling the causes of her anxiety and depression, Valerie soon felt confident to move forward from therapy.

“My counselor was exceptional and did an excellent job listening without judgment and providing professional support. I am extremely grateful for this experience and am looking forward to moving past my anxiety.”

Helping Arthur and Ruth Move Forward with Confidence…

The JFCS senior service team received a call from Arthur, who lives out of state, and was concerned about his 90 year-old mother who lives alone in the Princeton community. While the son was in town, one of our geriatric care managers scheduled an appointment to meet with both Arthur and his mother, Ruth. The care manager did a thorough assessment including home safety, social supports, meal shopping/preparation and transportation options. A plan of care was developed to address these issues. Arthur left for home feeling like a “weight had been lifted from his shoulders.”

He knew he was no longer alone to deal with the challenges that lie ahead. JFCS receives many calls like this and our expert team of geriatric care managers is available to provide guidance and support to those in similar situations.

Melinda Finds Hope at the Pantry…

Melinda is a grandmother who serves as the primary guardian to both grandsons. She lives on a fixed income and is the full-time caregiver to both children, one of whom has significant physical special needs, requiring in-home therapy and care. It is difficult for Melinda to get out of the house, but thankfully, she is in counseling with one of our JFCS therapists who referred her to the pantry team. Our pantry team was able to identify one of our local mobile food pantry stops where Melinda can easily and conveniently pick up groceries. Melinda was also able to receive gift cards through the LIGHTS program so she could purchase holiday gifts for her grandsons, something out of reach without this support.

“With a resource coming right to my neighborhood, it is a huge relief. I face serious financial challenges as the sole caregiver for my grandsons, and I am so appreciative of any help. Even the smallest gesture makes a big difference in our lives.”

Stories like those of Valerie, Arthur, Ruth and Melinda are just some examples of the impact we have made, together, over the past year. You can read further about how JFCS has served the community this year in our latest Annual Report.

We thank all of those who have supported us, especially in these ongoing, challenging times. We hope you can once again trust JFCS to care for those in need with an end of year gift. Help us move into the new year with help, hope & healing.

IN THE NEWS: Volunteering Can Have Positive Impacts on Recipients and Volunteers

Princeton Perspectives recently shared a feature about the positive impact of volunteering, not only for the community and those who benefit from social services, but for those who are providing volunteer service.

JFCS’s own Director of Clinical Services, Shirley Bellardo, LCSW, LCADC, and Volunteer Coordinator, Eden Aaronson provided their perspectives on how volunteer has added to the lives of those who support JFCS.

Read the full article here.

IN THE NEWS! JFCS One of Four Organizations to benefit from Diversified Rack & Shelving

Diversified Rack & Shelving partnered with East Windsor Township Mayor Janice S. Mironov, to present $10,000 in donations to four community organizations: $2,500 to RISE Community Service Partnership to support their food distribution program, $2,500 to Mercer County Meals on Wheels, $2,500 to Jewish Family & Children’s Service for their mobile food truck, and $2,500 to the East Windsor Senior Trust Fund for senior programming.

Read more on MidJersey.News or CentralJersey.com.

Holiday Gift Drive to Benefit Those in Need

Donate a gift cards to benefit those we serve. Your gifts empower parents to purchase holiday gifts for their children.

Please help by purchasing gift cards in denominations of $15 or $25 from the following retailers:

  • Amazon
  • Walmart
  • Old Navy
  • Target
  • VISA

Please deliver donations by Thursday, December 23. Questions? Contact Eden Aaronson at EdenA@jfcsonline.org.

 

Download and share the flyer!

Virtual Bereavement Group Ahead of the Holidays

When so many traditions and observances are focused around the gathering of family and friends, it can be especially hard to celebrate when grieving the loss of a loved one. Our Handling the Holidays series is held ahead of the major Jewish holidays, Passover, Yom Kippur & Rosh Hashanah, and Hanukkah, to help those who are grieving.

Light in the Midst of Darkness: Chanukah for those who are bereaved

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2021 | 2:30 – 3:30 PM | VIA ZOOM

 

 

Join for a one-time virtual support group to help you through the dark days of this difficult year. Facilitated by Chaplain Beverly Rubman.

No fee to attend, advance registration required.

 

CLICK TO REGISTER

1st Annual JFCS Wheels for Meals a Success!

The 1st Annual JFCS Wheels for Meals welcomed over 250 cyclists on a foggy autumn morning to Mercer County Community College. To date, the event has raised over $93,000 in support of JFCS food programs.

“We were astounded at the turnout for our inaugural event,” said Michelle Napell, Executive Director. “The enthusiasm of all the cyclists, from the experienced riders to the young cyclists representing local synagogues, it was a true demonstration of the power of community coming together for a cause.”

The support of 20 sponsors helped jump start the success of the event. Each cyclists who registered then had the opportunity to set up fundraising pages and have their networks donate towards a personal fundraising goal. Fundraisers could also form teams, which proved popular with local riding groups, synagogues, businesses, and even bar & bat mitzvah projects.

“We are thrilled to have set such an exciting precedent and only growing the event in future years,” adds Napell.

See the Wheels for Meals site for full cyclists info and to continue to contribute to the cause.

Event Sponsors:

Crook & Marker | Lisa & Mark Tobias

Bristol Myers Squibb | Susan & Michael Falcon | Firmenich Charitable Foundation | Lennar | Stark & Stark
Elaine & Barry Sussman | Vending Trucks Inc
David Adams | Bank of Princeton | Bob’s Discount Furniture | The Gershen Group LLC | Patty & Adolf Herst 
NJM Insurance GroupOrland’s Ewing Memorial Chapel | PJ’s Pancake House | Rick Pollock & Eric Risberg
Clive & Teresa Samuels Pat & Ray Schlaefer | Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton |   Szaferman Lakind
Taft Communications

Event Partners: 

Jay’s Cycles Princeton | NJ Sings | Wegmans | Witherspoon Media Group

Enjoy select photos from our event and view all in our Facebook Photo Album.