Nov 30

Scam alert: Don’t believe calls claiming problems with your Social Security

Posted on November 30, 2020 at 8:59 pm by Clay Curtin

If there is a problem, the Social Security Administration will mail you a letter with your Social Security number. Generally, they will only contact you if you have requested a call or have ongoing business with them. The latest scam trick using robocall or live callers has increased. Fraudsters pretend to be government employees and claim there is identity theft or another problem with one’s Social Security number, account or benefits.

Scammers may threaten arrest or other legal action, or may offer to increase benefits, protect assets or resolve identity theft. They often demand payment via retail gift cards, wire transfers, pre-paid debit cards, internet currency or mailing cash.

Social Security employees will never threaten you for information or promise a benefit in exchange for personal information or money. Rarely, Social Security may call you for some situations, but will NEVER:
  • Threaten you
  • Suspend your Social Security number
  • Demand immediate payment from you
  • Require payment by cash, gift card, pre-paid debit card, internet currency or wire transfer
  • Ask for gift card numbers over the phone or to wire or mail cash
Do not be fooled! You should look out for:
  • A caller saying there is a problem with your Social Security number or account
  • Any call asking you to pay a fine or debt with retail gift cards, wire transfers, pre-paid debit cards, internet currency or by mailing cash
  • Scammers pretending they’re from Social Security or another government agency; Caller ID or documents sent by email may look official but they are not
How to protect yourself and your family:
  • If you receive a questionable call, hang up and report the call to the Social Security Office of the Inspector General
  • Don’t return unknown calls
  • Ask someone you trust for advice before making any large purchase or financial decision
  • Don’t be embarrassed to report if you shared personal financial information or suffered a financial loss
  • Learn more at the Office of the Inspector General's website
  • Share this information with friends and family
Learn more about Social Security fraud prevention and reporting.

Nov 30

Where to get your flu vaccine

Posted on November 30, 2020 at 8:26 pm by Clay Curtin

To prevent a “twindemic” of COVID-19 and seasonal influenza, San Mateo County Health is urging everyone over the age of 6 months to get a flu shot to protect themselves and their loved ones. Flu vaccines are an important step in protecting yourself, your family, and your community from a disease that
affects thousands of people in the United States every year. Older adults, pregnant women, young adults, children, and people with other underlying health conditions are most at risk of getting the flu.

It takes two weeks after being immunized to be fully protected. The vaccine only keeps you fully protected for about one year, so it’s important to get vaccinated every year. You can get flu shots at:
  • Your primary doctor’s office
  • Retail pharmacies and stores (call first to check vaccine availability)
  • Use VaccineFinder
  • Home-bound patients who need flu shots should call 1-800-675-8437
  • Download the 2020-2021 free flu vaccine clinic locations list (English, Spanish) provided by the county 
Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue. There are other viruses that can cause these symptoms, but a high fever and bad cough usually indicate flu.

Nov 23

Support local businesses this Small Business Saturday

Posted on November 23, 2020 at 5:40 pm by Clay Curtin

It is usually the big shopping day after Thanksgiving that gets all the publicity, but let’s remember Small Business Saturday, November 28!

This holiday season looks a bit different – and it's likely going to be a tough one for small businesses. This season, it is more important than ever to support our local businesses and shop safely. Check out small businesses in Menlo Park on the Shop Small Map

Local businesses are the cornerstone of a strong community. Menlo Park supports Small Business Saturday, a national campaign to celebrate local entrepreneurs, showing residents across the nation that you can find that special gift at the shop. If you cannot leave your house, many small businesses have taken this time to put their shop online. Search for or call your favorite shop to see what they offer.

To help support this initiative and make the term Small Business Saturday as popular as Black Friday, we are asking you to join millions of Americans to shop small at your favorite local stores. This year marks the tenth Small Business Saturday and serves as the annual celebration of America’s small business community.

When we all shop small, we make a huge impact in our community. Studies estimate that 78 cents of every dollar spent locally returns to the local economy (as compared to 1 percent when you shop out of town or online). Need to shop for the upcoming holidays? Try shopping local instead!