Council on Aging Update

Update, Thursday July 15th, 2021

Have you ever gotten a call from your credit card company wanting to know if you recently purchased a bicycle in North Carolina or something similar?

They’re still out there and scams and con artists are dedicating their work lives to getting into your pocket books…. I know people who have been on the receiving end of computer scammers, had their identity stolen, accounts setup in their name, had their credit ruined, all sorts of horrors. I bet you know someone too. Yes, it seems to have gotten worse and every week there is another warning. 

On Friday July 30th, Elliott Greenblot from the AARP Fraud Watch Network will be here at Harper to talk with us about computer scams, what to watch for and how to  avoid them  Greenblot is a retired educator who has been working as a fraud educator for a few years, speaking and working with senior focused programs, law enforcement and state and local government entities. He’ll be joined here by representatives of the Berkshire County District Attorney’s office. The program is actually titled “Scams and Con Artists Coming to a Computer Near You”. It’s really an important conversation and we hope you’ll join us here to listen, learn and share with your friends.

We’ll be providing Pizza for lunch at 12:30 prior to Greenblot’s presentation.

This is our first major foray back into public educational opportunities with a live audience since…January 2020. It’s great to be back!

As many of you know, AARP Foundation Tax-Aide offers free tax preparation annually between February and April right here at the Harper Center. No, we aren’t accepting appointments or reservations today. It’s July and warm, we do that appointment stuff in January so don’t rush it!

However, AARP is looking for compassionate and friendly individuals to join our team of local volunteers for the 2022 tax season. Our volunteers receive training, IRS certification and continued support in a welcoming environment. And, as our current volunteers say, you’ll not only learn new skills but also get that great feeling from helping someone else.

Last year was a really weird season. Covid impacted all aspects of our lives and the Tax Aide season was not exempted from the situation in the least. You’ll remember that all appointments were initially cancelled in 2020 and when we were able to resume, the format was changed to one which eliminated much of the in person contact for the year while limiting the availability of slots for assistance. We’re hoping to remedy that this year by adding a few good volunteers to the very fine team we have already in place.

If you’re interested, have time, a good head for numbers and aren’t afraid of computers, we’d love to have your assistance! Towns all over the county including Williamstown, North Adams and Adams in North County host AARP programs so variety is indeed an option.

You can apply at www.aarpfoundation.org/taxaide and (follow the BECOME A VOLUNTEER prompts) or you can call 1-888-227-7669. Now, if you’d prefer to speak with someone locally, you can call us here at the Harper Center, 413-458-8250 or 1-413-446-7483. 

Finally for the week, Karyn’s Annual High Tea is formally scheduled for Tuesday August 17th at 1:00. Scones, cucumber sandwiches, tea and maybe goofy hats. Let us know if you’re coming!

Brian

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