Watch Your Step

by Jim Breen

staff writer

Last week the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) warned taxpayers of theft ploys involving scammers.

Scams claiming to represent FTB attempt to lure people into revealing personal and financial information, such as Social Security, bank account, or credit card numbers.  

Those who receive questionable solicitations are urged to contact the FTB immediately and talk to a live agent to review their accounts. The toll-free number is 1-800-852-5711.

Taxpayers should protect their personal information and treat any unsolicited phone calls or emails with caution.

If anyone receives a questionable contact from FTB, they should know that the organization can only process payments through its online Web Payservices or by mail through personal check, money order, cashier’s check, or Western Union Quick Collect payments.

The FTB does not have the ability to process funds from third-party issued debit cards or prepaid credit cards.

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Recently, Pat and Don Chovanec received text messages about problems with their accounts from a credit union and Walmart.  Both appeared legitimate, even including partial account numbers. Phone numbers were given to call and discuss the “problems” with their accounts. 

Turns out the Chovanecs don’t have cards from either company, but Pat called the 866 number anyway and got only busy signals.

The Chovanecs were then contacted by their real credit union (SCE) pointing to this new scam where victims are asked to surrendering their account numbers and pin number. 

“I shared this with a few friends and learned that this is going around,” said Mrs. Chovanec.

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Sydelle Pomi received a large packet of information mailed to her Mutual 17 home last week from Publishers Clearning House.

Not the actual PCH, but an “imitator,” offering her a special number that would increase her chances to win $1 million and $5,000 a week for life.

She was urged to act fast before the number was no longer available to her.

The LWer had to sift through several pages of information, contest rules and waivers, plus offers to buy 20 different cleaning and household products at discount prices, then pay a fee.

She delivered the information to our office “to help prevent any residents from being scammed.”

“At PCH the winning is always free and you never have to pay to claim a prize award,”said a representative from the authentic PCH.

Have you been the victim of a scam attempt? Send the details to jimbreen@lwsbnews.com or call 431-6586, ext. 387, Wednesday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

American Legion

The American Legion Post 327 will be hold bingo games at 1 p.m., Dec. 22, in Clubhouse 2. Members will serve hot dogs, chili and nachos.

Kudos to the ladies of the Auxiliary. President Mary Wiens and past president Jean Sudbeck served a delicious luncheon at the December meeting.

•••

On Dec. 11, Comdr. Bud Sudbeck and First Vice Cmdr. Lee Esslinger attended a luncheon at Newport Beach American Legion Post to honor National Cmdr. Dan Dellinger.

Nationwide, the Legion now serves more than 4 million members.

Woman’s Club

by Janet Carpenter

LW contributor

The Leisure World Woman’s Club will hold a card party and luncheon tomorrow, Friday, in Clubhouse 2. Lunch, priced at $9 per person, will be served at noon.

Lunch tickets will be sold by table number. One person can pick up tickets for a table of four for $36. Everyone should be seated by 11:45 a.m.

Those tables needing a substitute player for either bridge or canasta are asked to call Vivian Neiger at 594-6550 for the names of substitute players who can be contacted.

Standing club rules require regularly attending card players to be current members of the Woman’s Club. Membership cards should be taken to all these events.

A guest invited to attend the card party luncheon may do so twice a year, must have a luncheon reservation and be accompanied by her sponsor.

Legion Auxiliary

The ladies of American Legion Auxiliary Unit 327 have been busy shopping for Christmas for 16 families at Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos.

Junior Past President Jean Sudbeck also worked with her committee to plan and serve the pre-Christmas luncheon Dec. 16.

Everyone enjoyed home made chicken a la king, vegetables and apple cobbler.

Thanks to Jean and her committee.

On Dec. 22, the ladies will help the post with bingo in Clubhouse 2.

– Sandy Esslinger

Theosophical Society

Mark Barnett, Leisure World resident and president of the Open Forum, will discuss the meaning of winter Dec. 20, when the Long Beach Theosophical Society meets at 7:30 p.m.

The meeting will be held at Farmers and Merchants Bank Community Room, 12535 Seal Beach Blvd., Seal Beach.

Mark, who is also a lecturer at California State University, Long Beach, will provide the audience with meaningful reflections on this sacred time of the year.

The lecture will be given as a community service without charge or obligation.

All are welcome to attend.

For more information, call the Theosophical Society at 430-3957.

Healing and Wellness Center

Millions of people suffer from a condition referred to as dry eye syndrome. Creating an uncomfortable situation for those who experience it, the problem can also increase one’s chances of infections and even lead to further problems and complications with the eye.

Several factors can contribute to dry eye, including aging and environmental factors.

Here are some tips from the Healing and Wellness Center (HWC) of Dade City, Fla., for preventing and addressing dry eye syndrome:

• Homeopathic. Speak with a homeopathic specialist to obtain a natural treatment plan. This will help avoid side effects associated with many of the conventional treatments used. Those needing drops to help moisten their eyes should opt for ones made from natural ingredients.

• Increase humidity. By increasing the humidity in their homes, people are able to help keep their eyes moist. Placing a bowl of water near the head of the bed will help.

• Take plant based omega oils instead of omega based fish oils. Many people begin taking fish oil for their dry eyes, but it can have the opposite effect.

• Go organic. It is important to opt for including as much organic food in the diet as possible, ideally at least 70 percent. This will help keep harmful chemicals, which can potentially damage the eyes, out of the body.

• Stay hydrated. To avoid dryness, be sure to drink at least eight glasses of water each day.

• Blinking. To help keep the eyes from becoming dry, try to blink often. This will help to keep the eye surface moist. Try opening and closing your eyes in a slower motion, giving your eye more time to become moistened.

• Palming. Close your eyes and gently rest the heels of the hands hands on your cheekbones, covering your eyes with your palms. Imagine and visualize blackness. At the same time, feel your breathing.  Breathe deeply, slowly, and evenly, through your nose. The slower you breathe, the better.

GAF

The Golden Age Foundation provides a free tax service for Leisure World residents, and volunteers are needed to lend a hand.

People who are computer literate are needed to prepare the actual returns, and pick up phone messages regarding appointments and input the information. That can be done from home.

To help, call Phyllis Mackey at 596-2099 or Sam Jones at 598-0880, by Jan. 6.

There will be training for tax preparer volunteers Jan. 15 and 16 in Clubhouse 4 beginning at 9 a.m. each day.

Online computer training will be held Jan. 22-24 in Clubhouse 6.

Six two-hour training sessions are planned in the mornings and afternoons.

Attendance at only one of the two hour sessions is required.

Training for appointment takers and receptionists will held Jan. 17.

Return preparation is scheduled to begin Feb. 10 and continue for nine weeks through April 10, Monday- Friday, mornings only.

Volunteers can choose their own days.

Those interested can respond to either number listed above.