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Caution: COVID-19 Related Scams to Watch Out For

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LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Police Department’s Commercial Crimes Division, Organized Retail Theft Unit Detectives are urging the public to be aware of potential deceptions, identity thefts, and scams designed to defraud them of their stimulus money. The following information is provided to assist the public in identifying and avoiding any such criminal endeavors.

Stimulus Checks: The government issued Economic Impact Payment, commonly known as a “stimulus check”, is not a check at all. It’s a payment made by direct deposit, from the IRS, into an individual’s checking account. No forms are required, and the Federal government won’t ask payment up front to process the payment. The IRS will simply deposit the money if they already have your bank information from past tax refunds, and they’ve begun this process for many Americans already. If you have not filed taxes or received a refund in the last few years, check the Official IRS Website Information for how to submit your bank information or to update your address. Anyone calling, or knocking on your door, regarding your stimulus check is likely an identity thief.

In-Home Covid-19 Test Kits: There are no commercially available in-home tests for COVID-19 that consumers can purchase. There are no consumer services offering “in-home testing” at this time. Please do not trust anyone offering to sell tests to individuals, or to test anyone in the privacy of their home. They could be a burglar, identity thief, or scam artist.

Cures and Vaccines: There are no consumer products that treat or cure the COVID-19 virus. There is no current vaccine for the corona virus. Anyone attempting to sell a cure, treatment, or vaccine for corona virus is attempting to scam individuals out of their money.

Calls and Emails: Be particularly aware of emails, texts and calls claiming to be from health or government officials regarding your health. These calls may be an attempt to obtain your credit or personal information. Emails may tempt consumers to click on links that install malware of various kinds on their computers.

Price Gouging: Individuals or businesses selling COVID-19 related products at exhorbitant prices are committing a crime. Consumers who observe this activity should report it to the police.

Prevention: Please follow guidelines to remain at home, to wash your hands, to engage in social distancing, and remain safe. Be vigilant for anyone attempting to sell you “snake oil” cures, treatments, tests, or vaccines. Please be careful of anyone attempting to obtain your personal information, and avoid any suspicious COVID-19 email links.

Anyone who knows about any attempts to defraud the public related to the COVID-19 pandemic is asked to contact Commercial Crimes Division, Organized Retail Theft Unit, Detective Todd Booth or Detective Dondee Stout at 213-486-0928. During non-business hours, or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247).

Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call the LA Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go directly to www.lacrimestoppers.org. Tipsters may also visit www.lapdonline.org and click on “Anonymous Web Tips” under the “Get Involved-Crime Stoppers” menu.Tipsters may also download the “P3 Tips” mobile application and select the LA Regional Crime Stoppers as their local program.

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Business

RAGE is Latest Venue to Fall Victim to the Pandemic

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Another LGBTQ+ Nightlife Destination Has Fallen Victim to the Pandemic

WEST HOLLYWOOD (L.A. Magazine) — Rage nightclub has been a destination for LGBTQ+ nightlife in the bustling Santa Monica Boulevard corridor of West Hollywood for decades. Now, nearly 40 years after first opening its doors, the club has announced it has permanently closed, yet another local business to collapse amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rage nightclub management lays some portion of the blame on their landlord, Monte Overstreet. The club’s now-former general manager, Ron Madrill, told Q Voice News that rent for the location was already “very high” prior to operations shutting down in March. He says he believes an impasse over rent payments may have contributed to Rage’s closure.

Overstreet also reportedly owns the space formerly occupied by neighboring bar Flaming Saddles Saloon, which also announced […]

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Business

21 Workers Test Positive for Coronavirus at Rock n Roll Ralphs

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Workers protest outside Ralphs in Hollywood where 21 have tested positive for coronavirus

HOLLYWOOD (KTLA) — Workers rallied Friday outside a Ralphs store in Hollywood where 21 people have tested positive for the coronavirus.

The group called on the store to take more aggressive action when staff test positive for the virus, and to ramp up efforts to protect the grocery store employees, who are considered essential workers on the front lines of the pandemic.

They said they speak for thousands of workers who are afraid they aren’t getting enough protection as the virus continues to spread countywide, infecting more than 24,000 as of Friday.

The Ralphs at 7257 W. Sunset Blvd. has had an outbreak involving several workers who tested positive for the virus, according to the Los Angeles Department of Public Health, which lists businesses and […]

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Business

‘Stay Put, Order In’ and Dine With Friends on Zoom, Says Mayor

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WEST HOLLYWOOD — WeHo is home to some of the best restaurants in the world and our community members are used to gathering around restaurant tables and enjoying meals together. Now, there’s an opportunity to, instead, gather around kitchen tables at home and enjoy a meal (or many!) while supporting our local restaurants.

“One of the worst things about the Safer At Home directive is being disconnected from friends, neighbors, and the city around us,” said City of West Hollywood Mayor John D’Amico. “Don’t be alone if you don’t have to be – take advantage of the technology out there and invite a friend to Zoom in for Ziti or share some Farfalle over FaceTime.”

Mealtime is a wonderful opportunity to connect with friends, family, and loved ones using virtual teleconferencing technology, while partaking in your favorite delivered or takeout food.

City Encourages Residents to Support Local Restaurants During Safer At Home Orders

Many West Hollywood restaurants remain open and are offering takeout, curbside, and delivery meals, which are sensitive to social distancing during the emergency. The City of West Hollywood and the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce have teamed up to offer a directory of “Stay Put, Order In” eateries in West Hollywood, which is accessible by visitingwww.weho.org/coronavirus (click the “Stay Put, Order In” link!) or www.wehochamber.com/dinein. This list is updated daily.

“We need to start hanging out together, and talking, and seeing each other again. So, why not plan to #WeHoDinnerConnect this week – maybe Saturday at 8 p.m.? Or Sunday at 7 p.m.? Or even just 15 minutes of screen-to-screen gossip,” said Mayor D’Amico. “And you don’t have to cook a thing… local restaurants have meals and menus tailored to take-away choices and they’re ready to send food over to your house or make arrangements for you to pick it up.”

If picking up food, remember to wear face coverings, which are required to enter essential businesses.

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