QUESTION: It seems that calls from marketers are growing and the scammers are getting more cleaver and believable. Do you have any hints on what we can do to protect ourselves?
ANSWER: As the marketers and other fraudsters become more believable we must look at ourselves – what are our responses and behaviors when responding to a call or an e-mail. What do we have to change about ourselves to protect us from not be taken in?
Are you a person who likes to please people? You receive an e-mail from someone you know asking you to do something that you are not comfortable with – do you check it out or just do it because you want to please the person who sent it – are you even sure who sent it? Do you do it just to please the person? Don’t try to please everyone without checking – likely this e-mail has been sent by a scammer.
Are you cocky – by that I mean do you believe you can’t be defrauded? Do you believe you are smarter than the scammers? Think again scammers are professionals and endlessly creative. Remember they make their living by taking advantage of others.
Those who have been previously defrauded generally believe that they have learned their lesson and won’t be taken again. Sorry – but if you have previously been defrauded it is likely to happen again. You have probably been put on a “victim list” and that list is given to other scammers.
Are you a friendly person – many fraudulent opportunities occur through social media. Be aware of people you don’t know who are offering unbelievable opportunities. Remember the old saying – “there is no such thing as a free lunch.”
Then there are those of us who are lonely. Lonely people are susceptible to fake friendliness of professional thieves. Rather than associating with strangers join community programs and connect with people you know.
The professionals are steps ahead of us. Question anything that is offered to you and don’t hesitate to turn down unbelievable offers.
Remember don’t try to please all people – question what is being said or offered. Don’t be cocky – it can happen to you – again investigate.
If you were taken advantage of once – be aware it could happen again. Certainly you should be friendly – but be aware of who is attempting to establish a friendship. Remember when you are under stress you are not sure of what you are doing and last, but not least, if you are lonely make true friends don’t be led astray.
SATURDAY – August 24 – ALOHA – Hawaiian Luau –food – drinks – dancing – live music and more; at Goebel Active Adult Community Center, 1385 E. Janss Road in Thousand Oaks. Tickets are $10 per person.

IT’S BACK-TO-SCHOOL Time – if you are interested in working with children – join – CSVP’s Back to School meeting on Friday, August 23 at 10:00 am at the Goebel Center. Come hear about the CSVP’s “In the School’s Program” from a panel of experienced volunteers. Call (805) 381-2742 or e-mail for more information or to RSVP.

Pianist(s) needed for Simi Valley’s Senior Center Choir and/or Drama Club
The Choir needs a pianist who can accompany them during their weekly performances on Thursday from 10:30 to 11:30 am.
The Drama Club meets on Mondays from 1:00 to 3:00 pm leading up to the performance dates to rehearse for their play. Annual performances are in June and December. Please contact the Senior Center main desk at (805) 583-6363
for more information.

Betty Berry is a senior advocate for Senior Concerns. The advocates are located at the Goebel Active Adult Center, 1385 E. Janss Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91362
or call (805) 495-6250 or e-mail (please include your telephone number). You are invited to submit questions on senior issues.

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