Retired Public Employees Assocation Santa Cruz RPEA

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RPEA Chapter 9 Surf City- Santa Cruz has been serving retired public employees since 1958.

Protecting Yourself From Scams

Ways to Protect Yourself From Identity Theft” 3 pages on County DA letterhead, including “How to Freeze Your Credit Files”
Recent Scams” In Santa Cruz County; 2-sided pamphlet from your Consumer Fraud & Protection section
Department of Elder Justice pamphlet “Elder Justice Initiative” fact sheet about Financial Scams

According to an FBI report: Senior citizens lost almost $1 billion in scams in 2020

The highest numbers of scams were in California, Florida and Texas.

From AVG: 3 ways to steer clear of ransomware

  1. Use antivirus software with built-in ransomware protection and make sure it’s always up-to-date.
  2. Be wary of pop-ups that randomly appear when you’re online pushing you to install new or updated software.
  3. Only ever download apps directly from the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, or Microsoft Store.

AARP has a new Fraud Watch Service. You can sign up for biweekly alerts by text or email

Here is what Malwarebytes wrote about ransomware.

AARP April 2019 Fraud Watch and More.

Lessons from studying scams.

Get tips to spot and avoid scams like identity theft, investment fraud, and holiday scams, as well as ongoing updates from resources like Watchdog Alerts and a scam-tracking map that provides real-time alerts from law enforcement in your state.

Information from

Look out for COVID-19 scams

Unfortunately, scammers are using the COVID-19 pandemic to try to steal your Medicare Number, personal information, and money. And they're using robocalls, social media posts, and emails to do it. 

Remember, if anyone reaches out to get your Medicare Number or personal information in exchange for something, you can bet it's a scam.

Be on the lookout, so you can stop scams before they happen.Here are recent Coronavirus scams to watch for:

  • Robocalls offering you respiratory masks they'll never send
  •  Social media posts fraudulently seeking donations for non-existent charities, or claiming to give you stimulus funds if you enter your bank account information 
  • Fake testing kits, cures, "immunity" pills, and offers for protective equipment

Visit for more information and tips on preventing Medicare scams and fraud.

Watch out for scams related to Economic Impact Payments
The IRS urges taxpayers to be on the lookout for scams related to the Economic Impact Payments. To use the new app or get information, taxpayers should visit People should watch out for scams using email, phone calls or texts related to the payments. Be careful and cautious: The IRS will not send unsolicited electronic communications asking people to open attachments, visit a website or share personal or financial information. Remember, go directly and solely to for official information.
More information
The IRS will post frequently asked questions on and will provide updates as soon as they are available.

One way scammers can gain access to your credit or debit card information is through a process called skimming. This is when thieves "skim" your information from your card by installing their own scanners into public card readers. Standalone ATMs and gas station pumps are particularly susceptible to this type of fraud.

Here are some things to be aware of to keep yourself safe:

  • Inspect the ATM, gas pump, or credit card reader before using it. Look for anything loose, crooked, or damaged, and take notice of scratches or adhesive and tape residue. Give the card insert location a slight wiggle before inserting your card to see if anything comes apart.
  • When entering your PIN, block the keypad with your other hand to prevent possible hidden cameras from recording your number.
  • If you receive a “transaction could not be completed” message, or if the device asks you to re-swipe multiple times, this may be a sign that a skimming device is present.
  • Keep an eye out for suspicious vehicles near the ATM or for people hovering nearby watching over the card reader.
  • Look over your Card Transaction History regularly to make sure that there are no unfamiliar charges on it. If you find a suspicious charge, report it and cancel the card immediately.