Tuesday, March 28, 2023

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Nashville mourns six dead in the latest mass shooting, the EPA takes public input on a proposal to clean up Pennsylvania's drinking water, and find ways to get more Zzz's during Sleep Awareness Month.

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A shooting leaves six dead at a school in Nashville, the White House commends Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision to pause judicial reform, and mayors question the reach of state and federal authorities over local decisions.

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Finding childcare is a struggle everywhere, prompting North Carolina's Transylvania County to try a new approach. Maine is slowly building-out broadband access, but disagreements remain over whether local versus national companies should get the contracts, and specialty apps like "Farmers Dating" help those in small communities connect online.

Ukraine Charity Scams On the Rise

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Wednesday, March 30, 2022   

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine generates suffering for millions, many in California naturally want to do what they can to support the refugees. But now, scammers are working overtime to try to divert those funds.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) advises people to research the organization you plan to give to, using sites like Charity Watch or Charity Navigator.

Strat Maloma, associate director of advocacy and community engagement for AARP California, said people should watch out for calls, emails or social-media messages using high-pressure tactics.

"When they ask you to act urgently, immediately, when there's no time to waste," Maloma cautioned. "That should really be a red flag - when you're not given time to do your research, time to think about it."

Maloma suggested it can be helpful to develop a little script, so you will know how to turn down a persistent solicitor, saying you will have to do some research first, or you have already donated.

And Maloma says if you do make a donation, use a credit card rather than a digital payment app, where transactions can be hard to trace or reverse.

"If it's something like sending cash, sending gift cards, wire money," Maloma outlined. "Those should really be red flags."

Finally, experts warned some scams are not designed to get you to donate money, but rather to divulge your personal information, so they can steal your identity and run up charges on your accounts.

People who have fallen victim to a scam are encouraged to report it to the FTC or the California Attorney General's office.

Disclosure: AARP California contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues, and Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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