Watch Your Step by Jim Breen staff writer The American Association of Retired People (AARP) is one of the more familiar organizations for Leisure World residents and millions of other senior citizens across the country.
To do its part in the ongoing battle against identity theft and scams in general, AARP has launched the Fraud Watch Network to provide information about how seniors can better protect themselves and their families.
Identity theft, investment fraud and scams rob millions of Americans. In 2013, there were 12.6 million victims of identity theft alone and many more that went unreported.
Some primarily target seniors, topped by the disturbing “Grandma Scam,” when grandparents are contacted by scammers posing as their grandchildren seeking money.
While most LWers are wise to the scheme, there have been at least two residents who lost thousands of dollars in the last 10 years, money they will never recover.
AARP has provided several important steps to protect seniors from online or offline identity theft and fraud:
• When creating passwords, avoid the easy ones: family birth dates, names, Social Security numbers and consecutive numbers.
• Beware of emails that claim to come from the intended victims’ banks or Internet service providers requesting personal information or account numbers. Forward suspicious emails to email@example.com.
• Call 888 5-OPT-OUT or visit optoutprescreen.com to stop pre-approved credit card applications that could be stolen.
• Never submit personal information to telemarketers. To cut down on their annoying calls, sign up for the Do Not Call Registry at donotcall.gov or call (888) 382-1222.
• Double-check references for home repair offers and other products. Verify that people who contact you are who they claim to be before you provide any personal information.
Fight back against identity theft and fraud.
To learn about active scams, and find out how to spot and avoid them, visit aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork.
Have you been the victim of a scam attempt? Send the details to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 431-6586, ext. 387, Wednesday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
New officers of American Legion Auxiliary 327 were installed June 16 after the joint appreciation luncheon.
Members of Post 327 and the Auxiliary were served croissant sandwiches, potato salad, fruit kebobs and cake. The Post folded a gold star flag that was placed in a flag display case donated by Nora St. Clair. The flag will be placed in the display cabinet in Clubhouse 2.
After lunch, the two groups held general meetings.
Janet Evans-Schmidt was the installing officer for the Auxiliary officers.
The officers are Jean Sudbeck, president; Ann Hurley, first vice president; Kathy Boufford, second vice president; Betty Alecock, chaplain; Hermina Jansma, secretary; Sandy Esslinger, treasurer; Susan Matalon, historian; Pat Miller, sergeant at arms; Joyce Lamm, marshall; and Isabel Hamilton, Linda Pridanonda and Carol Graves, executive board members. The ladies will continue to serve veterans during the summer months.
For more information, call Sandy Esslinger at (310) 491-8989.
Safe Driver Program
The next Smart Driver class will be held July 21 and 22 from 1-5 p.m. in Clubhouse 3, Room 9 .
The eight-hour session over two days will be for people who have never taken the class or want to take it again.
The fee is $15 for AARP members who can confirm their membership numbers. The cost for non-members is $20.
Fees must be paid by personal check or money order at the time of sign-ups. Cash or credit cards will not be accepted.
Checks should be made out to AARP and brought to class.
Certificates will be distributed at the end of the second day of class.
The next eight-hour class will be held Nov. 17-18.
Reservations are needed since class size is limited to 25.
To make reservations or for more information, call Betty Adams, LW resident, at 936-1333.
– Betty Adams
Golden Age Foundation lunch
The Golden Age Foundation will hold its annual luncheon to honor volunteers at 11:30 a.m., today, Thursday, in Clubhouse 2.
The GAF is grateful to DLD Insurance Co. for sponsoring this year’s luncheon.
The theme will be “Thanks a Million.”
Volunteers make all the services GAF provides possible by donating their time and talents.
Major GAF initiatives include the hospitality program, annual flu clinic, and the Lifeline, mobility aids, income tax and the environmental programs.
To learn about the many GAF volunteer opportunities; to become a GAF member; or make a donation to the GAF Foundation, call 431-9589.
– Anna Derby
American Legion Post Cmdr. Bud Sudbeck reminds members and spouses, and Auxiliary members and spouses, that the annual Independence Day picnic at the Clubhouse 1 picnic area will begin at 11:30 a.m. on July 4.
An early barbecue of hot dogs and hamburgers is planned to allow members to get to their evening celebrations on time.
Caregivers are welcome.
The ladies of the Auxiliary are asked to bring desserts. The Post will provide the rest with all the trimmings.
Clutter Busters takes on the problem of reducing clutter when the group meets at 10:30 a.m.,Thursdays in Clubhouse 3, Room 6.
Source material from books on the topic will be available at meetings, speakers will be featured and there will be a free exchange of ideas.
The group provides a warm, caring atmosphere where people are free to discuss their clutter problems.
For more information, call Anne Shattuck at 799-7756.
Senior Patriots for Peace
by Nancy Goldstein
Dr. Donald Schwartz, professor emeritus at California State University, Long Beach, will be guest speaker at the July 11 meeting of Senior Patriots for Peace.
It will begin at 1 p.m., in Clubhouse 4. The title of his lecture is “The Golden Door: The History of Immigration In America.”
The U.S. is a nation of immigrants, people who imagined a life in another country that could be freer, easier and better.
Dr. Schwartz’s lecture will address the reasons immigrants came to these shores, the reaction of native-born Americans to the newcomers, and the current controversies surrounding the immigration debate today.
A question-and-answer period will follow the presentation.
All Leisure World residents and guests are welcome to the meetings.
Senior Patriots for Peace is an organization dedicated to the promotion of peace at home and throughout the world.
The goal is the elimination of the threat of violence and war.
To that end, members focus on issues of world peace, social justice and the environment to nurture a world where people can live healthy and peaceful lives for generations to come. Without justice there can be no peace.
For more information, call Nancy Goldstein at 896-8604 or Lucille Martin, 430-1047.
Disaster First Aid Class
by Madge Armstrong
Those who attend the July 23 Disaster First Aid class will learn what to do in the event of an emergency situation during instruction from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., July 23, in Clubhouse 3, Room 3.
The class teaches people how to treat their immediate injuries before outside help arrives.
LWers should have emergency supplies on hand, especially water, and keep emergency supplies up to date and available.
Outside help (Red Cross, military, etc) will not arrive with additional supplies for three to seven days, depending on the severity of the disaster.
Lunch or snacks and drinks can be taken to the class, which is open to everyone.
The training shareholders receive from the Organized Communities Volunteer Education Association (OVEVA) will apply to any emergency situation, not just earthquakes.
Cost of the class is $22, payable at the beginning of the class. Checks or cash will be accepted. A manual is included with the fee.
Registration is required. Contact Geneva Potepan, LW first aid training coordinator, at email@example.com or ( 951) 675-4271.
They can also be made by calling Madge Armstrong at 598-3087.
Members of the Open Forum will continue conducting a series of lectures and discussions on China’s history and society when the Open Forum meets at 10 a.m., July 14, in Clubhouse 3, Room 2.
Members are studying the teachings and philosophy of Buddhism and its impact on Chinese civilization. They are taking a close look at their cultural, religious and philosophical ways and beliefs.
The series continues through 2014.
The Forum meets at 10 a.m., on the first and third Tuesdays of the month in Clubhouse 3, Room 2.
All are welcome; there is no membership or dues. The Open Forum is a public service.
For more information, call Mark Barnett at 430-2435.
– Mark Barnett