News to Use Podcast Transcript: November 14, 2012


Fairfax County Podcasts 

Good day, and welcome to the Fairfax County News to Use podcast for November 14, 2012. Coming up, learn how to avoid charity frauds and scams, safe holiday cooking and how to stay connected to Fairfax County for news and information. Links to topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov.

A tragic event, such as an earthquake or hurricane, often prompts an outpouring of assistance from well-meaning residents. Fairfax County’s Consumer Affairs Branch reminds consumers who receive appeals to donate money in the aftermath of a natural disaster to apply a critical eye and do their due diligence before responding to requests. Past tragedies and natural disasters have prompted individuals with criminal intent to solicit contributions purportedly for a charitable organization and/or good cause. Before making a donation of any kind, consumers should adhere to certain guidelines, including the following:

  • Do not respond to any unsolicited incoming emails by clicking on links contained within those messages.

  • Be skeptical of individuals representing themselves as surviving victims or officials asking for donations via email or social networking sites.

  • Verify the legitimacy of nonprofit organizations by using various Internet-based resources that may assist in confirming the group’s existence and its nonprofit status rather than following a purported link to the site.

  • Be cautious of emails that claim to show pictures of the disaster areas in attached files because the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders.

  • Make contributions directly to known organizations rather than relying on others to make the donation on your behalf to ensure contributions are received and used for intended purposes.

  • Do not give your personal or financial information to anyone who solicits contributions: providing such information may compromise your identity and make you vulnerable to identity theft.

  • If you are solicited by a charity, don’t feel rushed or pressured into making an immediate commitment. Ask the caller or solicitor to provide written information about the charity’s programs and finances before you make a contribution. 

More information is online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/consumer/education/fraudulent-charities.htm as well as www.fema.gov/volunteer-donate-responsibly.

 

Get advice on preparing and serving a variety of meats and side dishes during the holidays without spreading foodborne illness. You'll find online publications about roasted meats, stuffing, mail order food and other topics. You also can order a free print kit that includes “Let's Talk Turkey,” “Cooking for Groups” and a handy magnet that tells you the recommended internal temperatures for some common foods. More information is online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/hd and promotions.usa.gov/holidays.html.

 

For a comprehensive list of news headlines, photos, videos, social media, email newsletters, events and more, visit the Fairfax County NewsWire at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news. And you can join Fairfax County on Facebook and follow our updates at facebook.com/fairfaxcounty. You can also follow Fairfax County on Twitter for key updates from across county government at twitter.com/fairfaxcounty or text the words and symbol “on @fairfaxcounty” to 40404 – that’s “on @fairfaxcounty” to 40404.

 

Finally, subscribe to “Weekender,” the county’s weekend arts and entertainment e-newsletter. “Weekender” brings together offerings from around the county including theater, concerts, outdoor adventures, gardening workshops, presentations on nature and history, family fun and much more, and delivers them right to your inbox every Thursday evening.  Don’t miss out on fun happenings throughout the county.  Subscribe to “Weekender” today at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news/email/.


That’s all for this News to Use podcast. Thanks for listening. For more information about the topics in this podcast and for continuous news updates, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news. You may also call 703-FAIRFAX, that’s 703-324-7329, weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. News to Use is produced by the Fairfax County, Virginia, government.  


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