Dutchess County Office for the Aging’s AGING NEWS For the week of August 1

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Dutchess County Office for the Aging’s

AGING NEWS

For the week of August 1

Active senior couple with dog running outside in green sunny nature

TWO STEPS FORWARD, TWO STEPS BACK ON SCAM PREVENTION

A phone rings, an answering machine picks up, and…you know the tune by now.

“We’ve been trying to reach you concerning your car’s extended warranty.”

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has heard your complaints and is taking a step toward blocking car warranty scam robocalls. In an order filed late last month, all U.S. voice service providers are required to “take all necessary steps” to block the calls.

Which may help, but it’s been our experience with phone scammers that when one scam is blocked, they seek out others, and the scam calls continue. Only the pretext of the scam has changed. The scammer peddling fake car warranties in July becomes the scammer working a Medicare fraud scheme in August.

Additionally, the FCC has no direct enforcement power against scammers who operate from outside the United States. Instead, they’ve been trying to prevent those calls from getting through in the first place, by requiring phone carriers to use a call verification technology known as STIR/SHAKEN. Its grade so far? Incomplete. STIR/SHAKEN doesn’t yet work on landlines, due to technical limitations. Also, a lot of illegal robocalls coming from overseas can still find a way around STIR/SHAKEN through a regulatory loophole not scheduled to close until June 2023.

SCAMMERS’ LATEST “WRONG NUMBER” TRICK

One new scam pops up on mobile devices, presenting no obvious scam angle at first. The messages look like wrong-number texts:

“Great meeting you last night at the charity gala.”

“Are you still coming to the Billy Joel concert?”

“Let me know where to drop off the mulch.”

The scammers’ idea here is to lure you into a conversation when you reply, letting them know they’ve got a wrong number.

Texts like these are a new spin on the old romance or companionship scam, that plays on people’s need for human connection. The victim is strung along for days or weeks, with innocuous-seeming conversations that eventually lead toward the swindle, disguised as too-good-to-be true “investing” tips.

The scam may be new, but our advice still applies. Don’t engage with anybody who contacts you unexpectedly, even if they have what appears to be accurate information about you.

If you need to be sure you’re dealing with a legitimate caller, hang up: then, call the company using the phone number from a previous legitimate interaction, like the Contact Us page on their website or a bill that you paid.

BETTER NEWS FROM THE FCC

If your family or household is struggling to afford internet service, the FCC offers an Affordable Connectivity program, which provides:

  • a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households, and
  • a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.

Details on how to qualify are available at fcc.gov/acp.

Golden Living is prepared by the Dutchess County Office for the Aging, 114 Delafield St., Poughkeepsie, New York 12601, telephone 845-486-2555, email: ofa@dutchessny.gov website: www.dutchessny.gov/aging

BINGOCIZE DEMONSTRATION AT TRI-TOWN FRIENDSHIP CENTER (Thu 8/4)

OFA is putting exercise in your bingo – or bingo in your exercise if that’s how you prefer to look at it.

We’ve scheduled a free demonstration of our Bingocize program for Thursday, August 4th, at OFA’s Tri-Town Friendship Center at the First Presbyterian Church at 1576 Main St. (Route 44) in Pleasant Valley.

Bingocize is a great way to combine games and exercise in a way that improves both health and social connections. If you like the demo, perhaps you’ll consider signing up for a full multi-week Bingocize workshop.

An optional lunch before the Bingocize demo is included in the demonstration, and space is limited, so advance registration is required. Call OFA at 845-486-2555 during business hours to get registered.

OFA AT MILLERTON FARMERS MARKET SENIOR DAY (Saturday 8/6)

Join the Office for the Aging and the North East Community Center (www.neccmillerton.org) for a Senior Day at the Millerton Farmer’s Market, 6 Dutchess Avenue.

Stop by between 10 am and 2 pm to find out more about OFA services, including the Millerton OFA Friendship Center, which operates Monday through Thursday from 10 am to 2 pm at the Millerton Library Annex at 28 Century Blvd.

The event includes prize giveaways, and free transportation is available from NECC Dial-A-Ride; call 518-789-4259 extension 101 for more information.

Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program checks are accepted at the farmer’s market, and SNAP/EBT purchases are matched up to $30.

For more information about the event, contact market manager John Nowak at 518-407-7030 or john@neccmillerton.org.

 

DUTCHESS COUNTY 988 HELPLINE

The new national 9-8-8 mental health hotline went live on July 16th, described as a 9-1-1 specifically for mental health emergencies.

Dialing 9-8-8 in Dutchess County enables an individual to access a mental health hotline that connects people experiencing mental health crisis to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Calls and texts are answered locally by crisis counselors who are well trained and experienced in responding to a wide range of mental health, substance use, and suicidal crises.

Dutchess County’s HELPLINE serves as the regional hub for 9-8-8 and covers calls for Dutchess County and surrounding areas, including Ulster and Sullivan counties. Residents can now dial 9-8-8 to be connected to HELPLINE or continue to use current contact methods including calling or texting 845-485-9700 or going through the Dutchess County HELPLINE App.

More information is available at this link.

UTILITY ANSWERS FOR LOCAL VETERANS

Eligible veterans and military families experiencing financial hardship may be able to find help through one of the two utilities that serve Dutchess County.

Click here for the link to help for Central Hudson customers; follow the Good Neighbor Fund link for specific information.

NYSEG customers in eastern Dutchess can click here for assistance information.

Other news:

13 things neurologists do to prevent dementia.

Mealtime tips for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease.

We’re going to need a lot more workers in the caregiving sector.

It may sound obvious to regular readers, but regular exercise means you’re more likely to live longer.

This week’s birthdays:

7/31: Jets defensive lineman Gerry Philbin (82)

8/1: Blues musician Robert Cray (69)

8/2: Novelist Isabel Allende (80)

8/3: Actor/producer Martin Sheen (82)

8/4: 44th president Barack Obama (61)

8/5: Actress Loni Anderson (77)

8/6: Actress Michelle Yeoh (60)

And our Bad Joke:

Q: Why did Mozart hate chickens?

A: Because when he asked them their favorite composer they said “Bach! Bach! Bach!”

Author: Harlem Valley News