Sunday, January 16, 2022


A new survey shows discrimination in medical settings affects quality of care; U.S. Supreme Court rejects vaccine and testing mandates for businesses; and New York moves toward electric school buses.


U.S. House passes a new voting rights bill, setting up a Senate showdown; President Biden announces expanded COVID testing, and Jan. 6 Committee requests an interview with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.


New website profiles missing and murdered Native Americans; more support for young, rural Minnesotans who've traded sex for food, shelter, drugs or alcohol; more communities step up to solve "period poverty;" and find your local gardener - Jan. 29 is National Seed Swap Day.

Ho Ho Ho! Don't Get Scammed Buying Holiday Gifts


Tuesday, December 7, 2021   

AUSTIN, Texas -- Holiday goodwill doesn't extend to scammers, but experts say peace of mind is possible with common sense strategies to avoid schemes that steal your joy and your money.

Successful scammers spend a whole year coming up with new strategies and methods to bilk consumers buying gifts for family and friends.

Beverly Gor, executive council volunteer for AARP Texas, said if your plan is to buy gift cards from a big-box store, make sure they have not been stripped of their value prior to purchase.

"There are some criminals who know how to drain your gift card of its value, and our survey found that 21% of U.S. adults gave or received a gift card with no value on it," Gor reported.

If you fall victim to a scam, Gor said you should immediately contact the store or law enforcement.

Gor recently heard from an elderly woman who stopped just short of giving private information over the phone after the caller claimed she owed money and seemed like an authority because she knew her address, the value of her home and other information easily gleaned from the internet.

"They knew things about her that led her to believe that they were a legitimate caller," Gor explained. "A lot of those things are on the county tax rolls, so anybody can go there. They can figure out things about you and make it sound like they're sincere."

When it comes to charity donations, Gor recommended to make sure it is the correct website before entering credit card information, because scammers are known to use lookalike names.

"People putting up what they call "clone" websites," Gor pointed out. "It would trick people, deceive people into clicking on something, and they will go to a fraudulent site and give information."

The AARP survey found nearly 40% of Americans received requests from charities that felt fake or fraudulent.

Disclosure: AARP Texas contributes to our fund for reporting on Energy Policy, Health Issues, Livable Wages/Working Families, and Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
Emissions from all buses, cars, and trucks make up 30% of New York City's carbon footprint. (Adobe Stock)


In her 2022 State of the State address, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul set new goals for electrifying the school bus fleets in the state. Clean-energy …

Social Issues

Finding and affording child care is no cakewalk for Oregon families right now. A new report details the pressures and some potential policy fixes…

Social Issues

Acknowledging the pandemic's toll on Kentucky students, teachers and families, Gov. Andy Beshear announced last night a state budget which would make …

Some dental providers in Minnesota's underserved communities say they have long waiting lists because of low reimbursement rates tied to public health programs. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

This month, Minnesota has raised state reimbursement rates for dentists who accept patients enrolled in the state's Medicaid program. Groups working …

Social Issues

Mobile carriers are starting to decommission their 3G cellular networks this year, some as soon as next month. Pennsylvania officials are reminding …

In the new survey, 38% of Black men surveyed in Ohio reported either being denied care or being provided inferior care in a medical setting. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

A new report suggests discrimination in medical settings affects the quality of care for many Ohioans. In a survey of more than 800 people, …


One hundred years ago today, the Izaak Walton League of America was founded in Chicago, with a mission of local stewardship of wild places, citizen …


An alliance of environmental groups and lawmakers has released an ambitious, wide-ranging set of goals for the 2022 Arizona Legislature. The …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021