It’s National Consumer Protection week (19th Year!) this week. There is a lot of advice out there on wise spending habits and these include making sure you give wisely and avoid the scams. Given the number of requests we all receive from charities (by phone and mail) it’s worth checking out the resources listed below.
Also, making sure you review your credit reports each year is an excellent way to protect yourself. I have included below a great website to visit to learn more about requesting these reports each year.
Here are few items that might interest you in the area of Consumer Protection.
Giving Smart: Washington State’s Secretary of State’s Office has a charity information line you can check to help you decide if the requests you receive are from valid and well managed charities.
Charities Information Hotline: 1-800-332-4483 or check out their website (Click HERE to go to the website)
We (here in the office) also use “Charity Navigator” (click HERE to go to the website) and find this useful in assessing charity requests.
We also have a warning from the federal government about a recent scam: Beware of new “HHS OIG” phone scam
There’s a new phone scam on the rise in which scammers alter your caller ID to make it seem as if the call is coming from the Dept. of Health & Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG)
Hotline 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477). The purpose is to get Medicare beneficiaries and members of the public to verify or share personal information, which they use to victimize people via financial and other crimes – draining their bank accounts. OIG wants the public to know that HHS OIG will not use the HHS OIG Hotline phone number to make outgoing calls and individuals should not answer calls from 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477).
HHS OIG also encourages those who believe they may have been a victim of the phone spoofing scam to report it to HHS OIG either through its Hotline at 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477) or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Consumers can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).
On Another Note: This is a reminder to ask for your free credit reports annually so that you can review them for accuracy. This is highly recommended to keep clean credit reports and monitor for identity theft. Click HERE for information on this from the National Consumer Protection Website. You can go online to do this, call or write to request the reports. The website is a great resource for this annual project of reviewing your credit reports.
Quote of the Week:
How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. – Anne Frank
Happenings this Week:
Saturday, March 11th: The Centralia Fox Theatre will be screening the next in its 2017 Fox Theatre Film Series, the 1948 western classic “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” Saturday, March 11. The showings will be at 2 and 7 p.m.
Admission for the movie is $10 per person ($8 for members) and $25 per family (three to four persons.) Season Passes are also available for the 2017 Film Series. Passes are $80 ($60 for members) and are good for all remaining movies in the series.
Presale tickets are available locally at Book ‘n’ Brush in Chehalis, Holley’s Place in Centralia, and online at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2874013.
For more information, contact the Fox Theatre at 360-623-1103. All proceeds from the event benefit the restoration of the Historic Fox Theatre.
Saturday, March 11th: Remember Daylight Saving Time Change! “Spring Forward” for the time change.
Saturday, March 18th: Saturday Night Game Night here at Stillwaters Estates. Starting at 6:00 p.m. residents are invited to gather and play a variety of games. The list includes Phase 10, Cribbage, Mexican Train, Skip-bo and others. Bring your favorite game and snack to share and join the fun.
Rain is in the forecast for the foreseable future but the good news is that daytime temperatures are now in the 50s for awhile. Stay warm and dry!