Seniors vs. Crime is co-sponsoring, with AARP and Clinton Community College, another Defensive Driving class. This is scheduled for June 14 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at CCC Technology Center at 1951 Manufacturing Drive in Clinton.

AARP members pay $15 for the class, non-members are charged $20. Seniors vs. Crime always supplies a nice, catered, hot lunch for this event, and we plan on doing the same this time. I get a lot of compliments on the lunch, as well as the classroom instruction.

This instruction will offer guidance on compensating for changes in our vision, hearing and reaction time as we age. The class covers handling problem-driving situations, such as aggressive drivers. You get tips on how to most effectively use newer automobile technology like anti-lock brakes, airbags and using cellphones while driving.

To register, you can call Clinton Community College at 244-7053, or go online to www.eicc.edu/ceregistration. It is helpful if you know the section number for these classes when you register, so take note of them here:

• AARP members — Section 169151

• Non-members — Section 169167

If you can’t make this June class, we are working on offering another class in October, but why wait? I encourage you to try this out. It always gets great reviews.

Yellow pages scam

The good folks at Advanced Physical Therapy in Clinton received a surprising fax last week. The fax appeared like a collection notice from Yellow Pages, demanding payment of $496.95, which represented the charge for listing the clinic for one year in the directory. This “invoice” was peppered with messages like “last chance to protect your credit score," and “this file referred to Debt Collectors, Inc.," or “Collection Warning.” So it looked threatening.

But the clinic staff smelled a rat — for one thing, the fax wanted the payment sent to Bulgaria — so they called me.

From time to time, this scam surfaces, in the U.S. or Canada, although no one ever reported it here. I recognized it from some of the reading I’ve done and told the clinic staff to not respond. Another variation of this involves similar fake billing from online directories, followed up by threatening phone calls, demanding payment.

What I do hear about more commonly are calls from small businesses reporting calls from someone posing as an Alliant Energy representative, demanding immediate payment of an outstanding utility bill, or face disconnect in 30 minutes. In this area, restaurants, dental clinics, and taverns reported receiving these calls. If you own or manage a small business or even a non-profit, you need to let your staff know this might happen. Rehearse your response — it should be to just hang up.

What should you buy with an iTunes gift card?

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a warning on May 10 about the use of iTunes gift cards by scammers. These cards are intended for use by consumers interested in purchasing recorded music from the iTunes website. But some scammers have turned to this method of payment to fleece their victims, just as they previously used other reloadable debit cards.

The FTC tells us some crooks are posing as IRS agents and demanding payment for back taxes, or pretending to be an online love interest that needs money, and wanting these payments in iTunes gift cards. Of course they also want the card code, so they can zap the funds out of the account almost as soon as you recite it to them. Here’s my advice. Unless you are buying music, don’t let anyone talk you into buying an iTunes gift card.

Prescription drug disposal

Part of the Seniors vs. Crime mission is to work on prescription drug issues, since seniors receive a large percentage of the prescribed drugs in the U.S. So I want to remind everyone, if you are holding on to expired or unneeded prescription drugs, and don’t know what to do with them, I’ve got a solution.

We have four locations in Clinton County where you can dispose of these medications at no charge. At the police departments in Clinton, Camanche, and DeWitt, you can find a disposal bin in the lobby. At the sheriff’s office in Clinton, we also keep a disposal bin in the lobby. These bins accept any prescription drug, pill bottles and all. Law enforcement collects the drugs from the bins and safely incinerates them. This kind of disposal is much preferred to flushing drugs down the toilet, where they end up in our water table eventually.

And as long as I’m writing about drugs, I remind you readers of the upcoming Opioid Town Hall at Eagle Point Lodge in Clinton on May 26, from 6 to 8 p.m. This is an opportunity for the community to learn about opioid and heroin abuse happening right here. For more information on this town hall, contact Gateway Impact Coalition at (563) 241-4371.

Let me know about scams, fraud, or other crookedness you run across. Most of what I learn, I learn from you. Contact me at Seniors vs. Crime, Clinton County Sheriff’s Office, 242-9211, ext. 4433, or email me at randymeier@gapa911.us

Randy Meier is the Director of the Clinton County Seniors vs. Crime division.

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