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AI: A Digital Double Edged Sword

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A good friend of mine invited me to ride along with him to a seminar hosted (in part) by US Congressman Gus Bilirakis and a group called “Elder Options.” The seminar was held at the Plantation Golf Resort just south of Crystal River and it was a full house! Congressman Bilirakis mainly hails out of the Tarpon Springs area, but he serves Florida’s District 12, which includes all of Citrus and Hernando and parts of Pasco Counties. His people maintain offices in Brooksville, Inverness, and New Port Richey.

Congressman Bilirakis only spoke for about 10 minutes, but he was there to emphasize the importance of the issues (soon to be covered). It was after he stepped away from the lectern that the real information came out.

About a half dozen speakers each came forward to speak of what seniors are now facing concerning “Artificial Intelligence” and the many ways that unscrupulous actors are scamming retirees (many times, without us even being aware of it going on).

It was mentioned at one point that when we are bothered by telemarketers trying to sell you on one subject, they are actually recording your voice. When they get those words that they need, they will use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to use those recorded words to their advantage!

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One of the worst things that you can utter to a stranger is the word “YES!”

Many of us have interests in charitable natures, and although it is a good thing to give to the needy, it can bring on heartache as well. We have our mother living on our compound with us, and she started sending money to a small handful of charities. Those charities (although well-meaning) don’t always safeguard their information (which is mostly OUR INFORMATION)! My mother asked me how it is, that she started out with about five different charitable contributions and now receives mail from close to 20 or so different organizations, looking to get “a piece of the action” through her generosity. I told her that sometimes some of these groups mean well, but hire people who may be just to fill a job need, and they can make as much money (if not more) than what you send in by selling contributor contacts lists to other groups.

Another avenue of malevolence is people who do a lot of mail ordering and those who would rather take what is yours before you get the chance to bring it into the house. The new term that has come about for this scenario is “Porch Pirates.” The bad guys (and sometimes gals) will case out certain neighborhoods (usually those not in gated communities) and watch when the mail is delivered. Some will even follow (at a distance) delivery trucks like UPS, Fed-Ex and ESPECIALLY Amazon!

The ELDER OPTIONS group states that when you call their toll-free number (800) 262-2243, their staff can give out information regarding reputable contractors that will install security measures such as the “Ring” doorbell camera system and full property surveillance options, with only trusted and vetted contracted companies.

The group also has counselors who can assist in directing a person to where they can speak to those dealing with senior mental and emotional issues. It was stated that a large number of seniors move to Florida to get away from the cold or to enjoy our comfortable climate, and due to the loss of their husband, wife (or soulmate), they find that loneliness and depression concerns are what their daily battles look like.

This aforementioned group does seminars all around the state, and when you call the toll-free number (previously listed) they will tell you when and where their next venue will be (as well as connecting you to someone to help with your immediate needs). The people who came to this meeting were given the chance to meet personally with many of the speakers (and enjoy a cup of coffee and pastries) at the end of the presentation.

One of the great things about being able to get my “offerings” to the Hernando Sun (and them in turn publishing them) is that many of my reading base (story followers) save this information and share it with their family and friends. If this advice helps one person out there this week (or in the near future), then my contribution will have some form of merit! Y’all be safe, be well, and BE BLESSED! Until we can do this again.

Congressman Bilirakis’ Offices:
Brooksville: 15 N. Main St. Brooks. 34601, (tel.# (352) 691-1231.
Inverness: 212 W. Main St. (Suite 208A), Inverness, Fla. 34450. Phone # (352) 654-1004.
New Port Richey: 8731 Citizens Drive (Suite 135), New Port Richey Florida 34654. Tel. # (727) 232-2921.
Washington D.C.: 2306 Rayburn HOB, Washington, D.C. 20515. Tel.# (202) 225-5755.

Steve Goodwin is a recently retired Christian conservative veteran (of the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division), who still feels that “duty to country” did not end when the military uniform got hung up. He and his wife Cecelia live on the edge of a beautifully wooded tract of land just south of the bypass, and are involved in not only church activities, but also attend school board meetings and local community action events as well.

Steven Goodwin
Steven Goodwin
Steve Goodwin is a recently retired Christian conservative veteran (of the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division), who still feels that "duty to country" did not end when the military uniform got hung up. He and his wife Cecelia live on the edge of a beautifully wooded tract of land just south of the bypass, and are involved in not only church activities, but also attend school board meetings and local community action events as well.
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