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Must-Watch Videos to Protect Yourself from Scams

Scammers are more sophisticated than ever.  The FTC reported that Americans lost about $1.48 billion to scammers in 2018 alone.  Scam phone calls are so commonplace, that many of us do not even answer the phone if we do not know the number (good advice!).

While there are a lot of scams targeting seniors, younger adults get tons of these scam calls and emails as well.  Everyone needs to be aware of the signs of a scam, because once that money is gone, you cannot get it back.  News outlets and the FTC often report the latest scams, but unfortunately, as soon as one scam is identified, three more pop up in its place.

So, what can you do to protect yourself? Education is the key.

You need to know the signs of scams, and the most common and popular scams going around.  Even if you never get scammed, you can share this information with your friends and family to make sure that they are aware as well.

Here are some free videos and presentations you can use to educate yourself:

1.  Stay Safe from Common Scams — AARP

AARP has a great series of video presentations on common scams and how to spot them.  The 30-minute videos are in the style of a news story, featuring discussions from experts from the FTC, FCC, and AARP.  If you watch the upcoming videos live, you can even submit questions to the presenters in real time.  Watch the videos here.

2.  Awareness Snapshots — California Elder Justice Coalition

California Elder Justice Coalition has their first video up in a planned series called Awareness Snapshots.  These short, ten-minute videos provide good information on specific scams to watch out for.  The first one is about investment scams.   Watch it here.

3.  Fraud Awareness — Western Union

Western Union has a whole page with scam resources, but their videos are a great way to get a very quick overview of common scams.  These animated videos are 1-2 minutes long, and warn against romance scams, grandparent scams, lottery scams, and several others.  Check out their videos here.

Want more?

There are lots of free resources about scams and how to protect yourself — not just videos.  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has a lot of resources on how to protect yourself and what to do if you are a victim of a scam.   The Federal Trade Commission is the place to report scams, but it is also a great resource center.  The Federal Communications Commission also has several guides on scams to watch out for.

CCSLS’s Top Five Signs of a Scam

  1. Secrecy.  Whether pretending to be a grandchild who claims it will be embarrassing for them to tell their parents they need money, or an investor who ensures you that your family will be thrilled by the amazing amount of money you’re about to get, scammers often ask you to keep it “just between us.”  If you’re making a big financial decision, tell someone about it!
  2. You have to pay money to get money.  If you have won a sweepstakes, you do not have to pay “taxes” or “fees” in advance.  If you have to pay, it’s a scam.
  3. Threats to put you in jail.  If they tell you that there will be a “warrant for your arrest” if you do not pay, it is a scam.
  4. Pressure to pay today or the offer ends.  Any legitimate company will give you an offer that lasts more than one day.
  5. Something feels off.  Trust your gut.  And remember, if it seems too good to be true, it is!

Scammed?  We can help.

Depending on the situation, we may not be able to get your money back.  However, we can help you check your credit reports, report the scam to the FTC and FBI, and provide guidance on your next steps.  Even if you are embarrassed, it is very important to report because because every report helps law enforcement go after the scammers.  Call us for details.

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SAGE USA Honors LGBT Seniors During 50th Anniversary of Stonewall

SAGE USA Honors LGBT Seniors During 50th Anniversary of Stonewall

LGBT pioneers share their Stonewall stories

As part of SAGE’s four-part Stonewall video series, LGBT elders describe firsthand accounts of the Stonewall uprising of 1969.

CCSLS is here to support LGBTQ seniors in Contra Costa County.  For LGBT resources in Contra Costa, call the Rainbow Community Center at (925) 692-0900.

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A Message from the Administration for Community Living

Thank you to the Administration for Community Living for this special message:

Lifting up Voices for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (June 15)

By Lance Robertson, Assistant Secretary for Aging and Administrator, ACL

Tomorrow we join the world in speaking out against the abuse, neglect, and exploitation of older adults for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). This day is about coming together to reaffirm that older adults are equal members of our communities, entitled to all the same dignity, rights, and security that each of us would expect at any age. (more…)

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In News

How SSI Recipients Can Apply for CalFresh in Contra Costa County

What is CalFresh? CalFresh Logo

CalFresh is a program that provides monthly food benefits for low-income individuals and families.  It is California’s version of the federal program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  CalFresh participants receive an EBT card that can be used at grocery stores and farmers markets throughout the County.  However, the amount an individual or family receives depends on their income and a variety of factors. (more…)

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Let’s Celebrate! May is Older Americans Month

Older Americans Month 2019: Connect, Create, Contribute

Each year, more and more older adults are making a positive impact in and around Contra Costa County. As volunteers, employees, employers, educators, mentors, advocates, and more, they offer insight and experience that benefit the entire community. That’s why Older Americans Month (OAM) has been recognizing the contributions of this growing population for 56 years.

Led by the Administration for Community Living (ACL) each May, OAM provides resources to help older Americans stay healthy and independent, and resources to help communities support and celebrate their diversity. (more…)

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Have you had the conversation? Get ready for NHDD April 16!

April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day.  If you do not already have your end-of-life planning done, now is the perfect opportunity.  Every adult, and especially seniors, should have their wishes for the end of their life set in writing.

What is the conversation?

The conversation to have on April 16th (or any time), is about your wishes at the end of your life.  You should have this conversation with the people in your life who are going to be responsible for making decisions on your behalf at the end of life.  This way, if something happens and you are unable to express your wishes, your family or friends who need to make these decisions are able to do so knowing that it is what you would want. (more…)

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5 Reasons Why You Must Check Your Credit Report Every Year

What is a credit report?

A credit report is a record of your credit activity and credit history.  There are three major national consumer credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.  They each compile records of financial history that affect credit–in other words, a “credit report.”  These reports contain information about your payment history, credit limits, loan balances, and other financial and personal information.  For example, credit cards, student loans, mortgages, and auto loans all appear on credit reports.

Here are 5 reasons why you need to check your reports:


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2702 Clayton Rd.
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Concord, CA 94519
(925) 609-7900

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The mission of CCSLS is to protect the rights of seniors. By providing legal services, the organization is also able to mediate poverty and improve health outcomes for the population it serves. Lawyers are uniquely qualified to help identify and address legal issues that impede the ability of seniors to remain healthy and independent.