The Garden City Telegram
2/13/2013
SOUTHWEST LIFE

Warning seniors about scams

Scams — the never-ending plot to get your money.

Recently in a western Kansas town a senior reported receiving a call informing him that he had won $55 million. All he had to do to claim his prize was to send a blank check to someone in California. Fortunately, the senior did not fall for this trick. Others are not so smart.

Scammers see published reports of Powerball jackpots as a golden opportunity to entice unsuspecting victims to fork over their bank account information. They may steal your identity, try to obtain new credit cards or even take out a loan in your name. Never send a blank check or talk about your bank account number to someone you don't know unless you initiated the call to a legitimate business with which you already have a business relationship.

Recently, Hurricane Sandy caused problems, even for those not affected by the weather. Natural disasters bring bad news not only from the damage they cause but also because scam artists use them as opportunities to separate you from your hard-earned money. Scammers will pretend to be from reputable organizations like the Red Cross and will solicit donations from the unsuspecting under the guise of helping victims of the disasters. The scammers know you want to help people who are suffering. Make donations to established organizations with a strong track record of organizing and providing disaster relief. Initiate the donation yourself rather than responding online, email or by phone. Be wary of charities that ask for alternate forms of payment. Legitimate charities rarely ask you to give by wire transfer.

BeeLine Express

For those wanting to get out of town to escape "cabin fever," consider scheduling a ride on the BeeLine Express. Buses stop daily at Finney County Transit (FIT) as they travel between Wichita and Pueblo, Colo., connecting to Greyhound Bus Lines nationally. Each new bus features state-of-the-art technology and style, designed for both passenger comfort and convenience. They accommodate up to 50 passengers, are wheelchair accessible, include an on-board bathroom, electrical outlets for charging phones, computers and games, and have adjustable leather seating, armrests and more. Tickets can be purchased at the FIT office located at 1008 N. 11th St., or simply by calling 272-3626. Office hours are between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. Finney County Transit can accept either cash or credit cards. Passengers are encouraged to book their trips early as prices can be discounted up to as much as 50 percent for advanced ticket purchases. Both the east and west routes out of Garden City are morning departures, allowing for connecting routes.

Social Security

If you still receive a paper check for your Social Security or other federal benefit payments, you are required by law to switch to an electronic payment method by March 1. You can choose to get your payments by direct deposit to a bank or credit union account or to a Direct Express Debit MasterCard card account. Act now to get your money safely and quickly — on time, every time. Sign up for direct deposit or the Direct Express card by contacting the U.S. Treasury Electronic Payment Solution Center at (800) 333-1795. You may also sign up for direct deposit online.

If you do not choose an electronic payment option by March 1, you will be out of compliance with the law and may receive your payments via the Direct Express card.

The Treasury Department will grant exceptions to the rule only in rare circumstances.

Automatic waivers are granted to people born on or before May 1, 1921. Check recipients living in remote areas without sufficient banking infrastructure may apply for a waiver, as well as check recipients for whom electronic payments would impose a hardship due to a mental impairment. Waiver applications can be requested by calling (800) 333-1795.

Thanks for help

Many thanks to the volunteers from Chesapeake Energy, Jamie Hitchcock and Duane Riley who delivered Meals on Wheels last week.

Are you interested in helping with Meals on Wheels? Substitute drivers are always needed. If you would like to help, call Patti at 272-3620 or 260-6282.

Scheduled activities

Thursday, the TOPS Club will meet at 9 a.m., followed by art class at 10 a.m. Gentle exercises start at 11 a.m. The Ambassador Singers will practice at 1 p.m. Skip-Bo begins at 1 p.m. Yoga begins at 6:30 p.m.

Friday, the day begins with line dancing at 8:30 a.m. A nurse from St. Catherine Hospital will be here from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Bridge starts at 12:45 p.m.

Saturday, the pool room is open from 1 to 4 p.m.

Sunday has duplicate bridge at 2 p.m. From 2 to 4 p.m., join us in honoring Hope Lehman as she begins her retirement. Hope has worked at the senior center for more than 20 years and will be greatly missed.

Monday begins with walking at 8:30 a.m. The Humdingers Band will practice at 12:30 p.m. Double pinochle begins at 12:30 p.m. Zumba classes begin at 5:30 p.m. Join Kathy White for exercise to a Latin beat. Duplicate bridge starts at 7 p.m.

Tuesday has gentle exercises at 11 a.m. Pitch starts at 12:30 p.m. Bridge begins at 1:15 p.m. The Finney County Committee on Aging meets at 2 p.m.

Feb. 20 has line dancing at 8:30 a.m. Legal aid is by appointment beginning at 10 a.m. Call 272-3620 to schedule an appointment with the attorney. Pinochle starts at 12:40 p.m. The regular Wednesday night dance featuring the "Oklahoma Cowboy" begins at 7:30 p.m. The recommended donation is $5.

Lunch menus

Lunch is served at noon.

Thursday: Meat loaf, potatoes and gravy, marinated tomatoes, wheat bread, gelatin salad.

Friday: Baked fish or chicken and stuffing, broccoli, fruit muffin, peaches.

Monday: Chicken noodle casserole, peas, oriental vegetables, wheat bread, apricots.

Tuesday: Roast beef, potatoes and gravy, Harvard beets, wheat roll, angel cake with strawberries.

Feb. 20: Chicken and rice, green beans, California vegetables, wheat bread, fruit cocktail.

2013 — Celebrating 35 years at the Senior Center of Finney County. Check out our website at www.seniorcenterfc.com.