Monday, April 18, 2011

Tuolumne County Commission on Aging Post "BE AFRAID, BE VERY AFRAID" / Senior Expo And Calendar 2011

Welcome to the Tuolumne County Commission on Aging blog: it’s our ongoing effort that we hope will be the first of many aimed to bring information to help and inform seniors in our county.

The commissioners, with their extensive and varied experience and expertise, are all volunteers and without exception are primarily concerned with doing whatever they can to improve the lives of our county’s seniors in and around the Motherlode.

  by Roberta Goodwin, email me at:

So: one morning, I got a phone call.  Not just any phone call.  One of those “Toll Free Call” things, but I didn't get there in time to answer before the machine picked up.  Whoever it was hung up.  So I called back, thinking it might be important, somebody I was expecting to call back, y'know like, I don't know, Mobility-Plus, or my bank or something.  The person who answered said “Visa”.  I explained, and asked why they called.  She said, “No, we don't make outgoing calls.”  I argued and said, “Wait a minute.  But you DID.  I just called back using my caller ID system. So it had to be you.”  Patiently now she says, “Noooo, WE DON'T CALL YOU.  We never do.  It had to be that company who is on a calling campaign now, trying to trick you by asking you questions and getting your personal sensitive credit card information out of you. It’s fraud.”  Getting it now finally, I said, “Aha, we are to know it’s not you guys because you always expect US to call YOU?”  She says, ever-so-patiently, “Yes, exactly.” 

She also advised that I call my “credit card provider” (in my case, it’s Chase) so I did.  Chase asked me for the number they used (an actual VISA number – spoofed, of course) and advised me to check my account.  I had done that already, logging on and looking at my “activity” while dialing Chase.  She also said IF they have to call customers, they never ask for identifying info, such as last four numbers of the credit card, Social Security number, name address etc. 

Well, it took me a while, I admit.  In a former life, post AT&T, one of the things I used to be was an IT (Information Technologies) person, which means I was responsible for maintaining a computer network, preventing virus attacks, and making sure in all ways that the office network ran smoothly.  Like that.  A trained technician, a critical-thinking person, and yet this took me some time to understand.  Yes, I thought, and YET.  So I started thinking:  Be Afraid – be VERY AFRAID.  In my opinion, seniors are at particular risk because, like me, our generation grew up trusting those who call to be who they say they are, and if a CREDIT CARD Company calls, they must have good reason, and we jump to comply with their request.

Conclusion-as we do things during the day and get distracted, tired, or frustrated, take medications that cause fuzzy thinking perhaps, or otherwise have an unguarded moment, we may know better but the danger is to release this kind of information.  If you get one of these calls, excuse yourself, and call back your credit card company (after looking up the specific phone numbers on your credit cards to check for the applicable one).  Remind your family members and friends too. 

Note: After reading this blog today, Marge Depew chimes in with a new  wrinkle.  She says she got a phone call the other day displaying "Out of Area" caller with the area code of 129.  This caller hung up on her machine, too, and was likely a scammer.  The NPAs (or "numbering plan areas") for this country do not include a "1" as the first digit.  US area codes anymore have no specific format after years (1951-1990) of requiring "0" or "1" as the second digit.  Google now just identifies "129" as "Non-US. NPA must be between 201 and 999".  So, an interesting wrinkle.  Thank you, Marge.


Elder Awareness Conference, 9am-4pm, May 4, St. Patrick's Parish Hall, downtown Sonora– more on this from the events section of Friends and Neighbors Magazine: Elder Awareness Conference, 9am-4pm, May 4, St. Patrick’s Parish Hall, downtown Sonora. Sponsored by Mother Lode Long Term Care Ombudsman Program, serving Amador, Calaveras, Tuolumne, M
Publish Post
ariposa and Alpine counties. Conference topics and speakers: Healthcare Reform, Jose Salazar of Tarazana Treatment Centers; Web Safety for Older Adults, Carol Power of Mother Lode Internet; Trusts and Wills, Tirzah Woodward, attorney; Bankers Against Fraud of Older Adults, representatives of local banks; Alzheimer’s Update, Elizabeth Edgerly of Alzheimer’s Association; Scam Database, Tuolumne County Community Service Unit. Call to reserve a seat, $25 per person, 532-7632.

ANNOUNCING 2011 Senior Expo

The 2011 Senior Expo will be held May 25, 2011 from 9am to 2pm at the MOTHERLODE FAIRGROUNDS, John Muir Building.  The Expo features the opportunity for blood draws, a very popular Senior Idol contest, and many various for-profit and non-profit groups will present their senior-oriented services and wares.  In addition, many booths will be informational. This is a FREE event open to anyone, particularly seniors, family, caregivers, but also any and all interested parties. For more information, to become a sponsor, or to reserve your own booth (the deadline is April 30th!), please call the Senior Expo Coordinator: 209-532-1607 or go to the website:

Features and typical booths:
*      Senior Idol contest! DO YOU SING OR DANCE?
*      Finance/Insurance
*      Medical such as blood draw (nominal fee)
*      Caregivers information / options
*      FOOD - will be available 
Reminder: Stay updated on the latest info at:
Commission on Aging Events Calendar 2011
1)  Commission on Aging Executive Board meetings 1:00PM, 1st Monday each month, at the Senior Center
2)  Commission on Aging Public Relations committee meetings, 12:00PM, 1st Wednesday each month, at Interfaith
3)  Commission on Aging general meetings 1:30PM, 2nd Monday each month, at Area 12 Agency on Aging, Standard Rd., Conf. Room C
NOTE: the June 13th meeting will be in Groveland at The Little House.
All meetings start at 1:30PM.  All our meetings are open to the public. 
4)  May 25 – Senior Expo, Motherlode Fairgrounds, John Muir Building 9AM-2PM
5)  June 22 - Senior Volunteer of the Year Awards Ceremony 11AM at Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors' Chambers, 4th Floor, 2 Green St.  Sonora
6)  October 19 - Centenarian Awards Ceremony 11AM Senior Center Sonora

All COA meetings are open to the public. Please come and give us your ideas, concerns, and information regarding senior issues!
In future, we will be blogging with more information on matters of interest to county seniors so stay tuned!  And please feel free to let us know YOUR ideas for events or forums that you want to see! We actively solicit your comments.  You may contact the Tuolumne County Commission on Aging by email

To go to
Friends and Neighbors website go here: 

To go to the San Francisco Institute on Aging website, go here:

Blog Editor: Roberta Goodwin

What thoughts have YOU?  Email them to me at:  Roberta 

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