Comprehensive Planning. Lifelong Solutions.

Protect Yourself from Identity Theft and Credit Card Fraud

September 12, 2014

Hook Law Center will be sponsoring “SHRED with a Purpose”

on Saturday, September 27, 2014

from 10 AM to 12 Noon at our Virginia Beach office.

Watch as your old files are shredded on-site.

With identity theft and credit card fraud becoming a growing problem, there are things that each of us can do to minimize the risk.

Shred sensitive documents:  Regularly shred outdated bank statements, credit card applications, bills, tax returns, and anything with your personal information before tossing it into the trash or recycling.  Join us at our Virginia Beach office on September 27th for our annual shred day, “Shred with a Purpose”, from 10AM to Noon.          

Guard your information online:  Clear your logins and passwords.  Change logins and passwords frequently.  Pay for online purchases with a credit card which provides better guarantees under federal law than your online payment services or your debit card.  Be alert for phishing, a trick that mimics legitimate businesses to obtain your personal information. Use a wipe utility before disposing of hard drives and mobile devices.  Encrypt your data to keep online transactions secure.  Use strong passwords and keep passwords private.

Monitor your bank and credit card statements:  Check your accounts regularly for fraudulent charges.

Monitor your credit report:  By law, you are entitled to a free report every year from each three credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.  You can order through each agency or www.annualcreditreport.com.

Credit and debit cards: Pay attention at the checkout line.  If a cashier, wait staff, or salesperson takes your card and either turns away from you or takes too long to conduct what is usually a normal transaction, they could be scanning your card into a skimming terminal or even taking a picture of your card front and back with a cell phone. Do not sign the back of your credit and debit cards; instead, write “Photo ID Required.”

Checks: If you want to put a telephone number on your checks, use your work telephone number instead of your home number. If you have a post office box, use that address on your checks instead of your home address. Never have your Social Security number printed on your checks.

ask kitkat logoEnding Gas Chambers

Hook Law Center:  Kit Kat, are gas chambers used on animals?

Kit Kat:  Sadly, yes, but their use is declining rapidly. In the past, when shelters had to put down a sick or injured animal, gas chambers were used. They were large metal boxes with a funnel from which the gas entered. The boxes were dark, and they were scary to the animal who had never before been placed in such a contraption. Then, the death could be slow as different sized animals inhaled the poisonous gas and finally succumbed.

Now, gas chambers are becoming a thing of the past. Only 27 states allow them, and of those, only 10 have chambers in actual use. Modern drugs today can make ending an animal’s life relatively painless. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is working toward the elimination of gas chambers with grants each year to make the transition to euthanasia by injection. In some cases, shelters are eliminating gas chambers voluntarily. As a result, not only the animal benefits, but also the shelter itself. The North Carolina HSUS Director, Kim Alboum, observes, “When you have a shelter that’s gassing, the community doesn’t want to go there. Once it’s gone, there’s a higher level of trust.” In Brunswick County, NC, for example, once the gas chamber was removed, their number of volunteers shot up to 200. In Utah, the Heber Valley Animal Shelter organized a community event called “Bash the Gas” when they wanted to get rid of their gas chamber. Held in a city park, local people in the area got a chance to  wield a sledge hammer and beat the chamber into oblivion.

As I have always said, good things happen when people work together!  (Ruthanne Johnson, “Bashing the Gas,” All Animals, September/October 2014, p. 9)

Upcoming Events

  • September 24, 2014- Andrew Hook will be presenting a seminar on the Pitfalls of Elder Law/Elder Care at Hope Lutheran Church, 5350 Providence Rd., Virginia Beach 23464.
  • September 25, 2014 – Andrew Hook and Shannon Laymon-Pecoraro will be presenting a seminar on Medicaid Liens and MSA at Regent University, Virginia Beach, VA.
  • September 27,2014 – Shred With a Purpose – Join us THIS Saturday, September 27, 2014 from 10 a.m. until Noon at Hook Law Center’s Virginia Beach office for our annual ”Shred with a Purpose” event.  To view our flyer with more information,  click here.  Distribute this flyer to anyone who may be interested in safely destroying personal documents.  Donations to the Alzheimer’s Association will be collected during this event.  If you would like to donate online to this worthy cause or if you would like to join our HLC Walk Team and walk with us on Sunday, October 12, 2014 at Neptune Park in Virginia Beach, please click the banner below to find out how.  Registration for the walk begins at 8:30 a.m. and the walk starts at 10 a.m. Walk to End Alzheimer's
  • October 2, 2014 – Hook Law Center is sponsoring Senior Advocate’s Active Aging Series at Westminster Canterbury, 3100 Shore Drive, Virginia Beach  VA  23451.   HLC Attorney Jessica A. Hayes will provide an overview of Hook Law Center’s Practice Areas at this meeting which begins at 10:00 am. To RSVP, please call Westminster Canterbury at 757-645-6364. RSVP responses will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis. For a list of speakers, please click here.  Each session includes a complimentary lunch. We look forward to seeing you there!

Distribution of This Newsletter

Hook Law Center encourages you to share this newsletter with anyone who is interested in issues pertaining to the elderly, the disabled and their advocates. The information in this newsletter may be copied and distributed, without charge and without permission, but with appropriate citation to Hook Law Center, P.C. If you are interested in a free subscription to the Hook Law Center News, then please telephone us at 757-399-7506, e-mail us at mail@hooklawcenter.com or fax us at 757-397-1267.

This report is not intended as a substitute for legal counsel. While every precaution has been taken to make this report accurate, Hook Law Center assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions, or for damages resulting from the use of the information in this report.

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