Coronavirus Scams and How to Avoid Them

The Public Press hosted a conversation April 9 to help the community understand how to identify and prevent phone and email scams that target the vulnerable — the elderly, people who are isolated or who have limited digital literacy. Our panelist were:

Chesa Boudin, San Francisco District Attorney
Shawna Reeves, Director of the Elder Abuse Prevention program at the Institute on Aging
Glen Fishman, Senior Program Coordinator for Elder Abuse Prevention at the Institute on Aging

The event was moderated by Laura Wenus, host of “Civic,” the Public Press’ daily news and public affairs radio show and podcast. RESOURCES AND LINKS
San Francisco District Attorney’s Office

District Attorney’s Office website
Overview of Covid-19 Scams
Victim Services Division — 628-652-4100
Consumer Hotline — 415-551-9595

How the Elderly Can Stay Connected

Friendship Line — ioaging.org and 800-971-0016
Covia — This community-based nonprofit has two programs: Well Connected offers activities and educational programs via phone, and Social Call matches volunteers with seniors for social conversations — covia.org and 925-956-7400
Little Brothers, Friends of the Elderly — littlebrotherssf.org and 415-771-7957

Sign Up for Alerts

AARP Fraud Watch Network
Better Business Bureau — Tips on COVID-19
U.S. Deptartment of Justice — coronavirus fraud and scams
U.S. Federal Trade Commission — avoiding coronavirus scams

Reporting Scams

San Francisco District Attorney’s Office hotline to report scams — 415-551-9595
Adult Protective Services — 415-355-6700 or the city’s Human Services Agency

Legal Assistance

Legal Assistance to the Elderly — 415-538-3333
Open Door Legal — 415-735-4124
Housing and Economic Rights Advocates — 510-271-8443
California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform — 415-974-5171
San Francisco Bar Association — 415-989-1616

Additional Resources

California Department of Business Oversight — 866-275-2677
“Be Vigilant Against Scams and Unlawful Activities Seeking to Exploit Heightened Economic Anxieties​” — from the California Department of Business Oversight
“Resources on Gender-Based Violence during COVID-19 Crisis”— from San Francisco’s Department on the Status of Women
Listen to a recent “Civic” show featuring Glen Fishman from the Institute on Aging

Watch a full recording of the conversation.

Neighborhood Meets Challenge: How S.F.’s Sunset Organized for Pandemic Aid

The Public Press hosted a conversation April 3 with Sunset Neighborhood Help Group founders Frank Plughoff, Bianca Nandzik and Stefan Nandzik about how they are coordinating a dynamic volunteer network to connect with elderly and at-risk neighbors who need help buying groceries and running errands during the COVID-19 pandemic. Meka Boyle, who first reported on the Sunset neighborhood’s call for mutual aid,  also participated in the panel, which was moderated by our publisher, Lila LaHood. Watch a full recording of the conversation.

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We Need Your Help to Cover the Pandemic

Since March 11, the San Francisco Public Press and “Civic” have accelerated to a pace we did not think possible for our small nonprofit newsroom. In two and a half weeks, we published 34 stories that brought as many visitors to our website as we saw in the last three months of 2019. I can tell you definitively: We did not plan for this. Instinct kicked in for those of us with daily newspaper, broadcast and wire service experience. The need is urgent.

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Covering Coronavirus and the New Normal

With the global coronavirus outbreak bearing down on us, the Public Press is committed to serving the community with relevant, timely and accurate information about public health and the response by local institutions. We pledge to remain nimble in our news coverage and provide clarity about important developments where needed. We’re focused on following storylines we have tackled for a long time — vulnerable populations including the homeless, the housing insecure, youth and those reliant on public health services — and safety information of direct utility to the general public. We realize it will be a long time before many people feel comfortable attending public in-person events. We are postponing most of the half-dozen gatherings we were planning for the coming months, and are exploring hosting virtual public meetings and online forums. Stay tuned for details.

A Free Press Is Taking Root in South Korea

Top: Je Kyu Ko, editor of Sisa-IN, with a papier-mâché caricature of North Korean “Rocket Man” Kim Jong-Un. Below: Speaking at the Korea Press Center in December, and a visit to Sisa-IN’s headquarters with INN director Sue Cross. Corruption of national leaders. A fragile democracy teetering between constitutional order and authoritarianism. A desperate populace leaning on journalists to hold the powerful to account.

The Role of Art in a Period of Political Turmoil

A group of local artists has organized an art show and public discussion about the intersection of art and politics. “The Role of Art in a Period of Political Turmoil” runs through Nov. 30. To celebrate the launch, there will be two events held at Spark Arts Gallery, 4229 18th St., in San Francisco:
Opening Reception Thursday, Nov. 7, 6 to 9 p.m.
“Art as Activism,” a panel discussion co-hosted by Manny’s Tuesday, Nov.

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No Ads? Newsprint? A Discussion of What Shaped the Public Press

San Francisco Public Press Publisher Lila LaHood talks with board chair David Cohn about the ideas — like going ad free and printing a physical newspaper — that would shape how the Public Press operates. “People who know the Public Press trust it in a very deep way, which, you know, you have to earn that trust.” — David Cohn, Public Press board chair
 

But Why a Radio Station? Michael Stoll of the Public Press Explains It All

San Francisco Public Press Executive Director Michael Stoll talks with Jennifer Waits, who hosts the radio show “Radio Survivor,” about why and how the Public Press launched a low-power FM radio station. 
“We always thought of ourselves as a newspaper based on a public broadcasting model, and now we’re a public broadcaster based on a newspaper based on public broadcasting. We really feel at home in the spirit of it, but the technical and logistical challenges to get a whole radio station set up were enthralling.” — San Francisco Public Press Executive Director Michael Stoll

Looking Back on First 10 Years of the San Francisco Public Press

San Francisco Public Press Executive Director Michael Stoll and Publisher Lila LaHood look back on a decade of working in a nonprofit news operation they founded — including the hurdles they had to overcome to establish nonprofit status for the Public Press — and look to the future. “We are hewing much closer to the ideal of public media, which is to be a public trust, first and foremost, and not try to commoditize the news. You can do different kinds of journalism … if you start out from a place of public service.” —  Michael Stoll, San Francisco Public Press executive director

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Journalist Reflects on Covering 2015 San Francisco Election

Journalist Sara Bloomberg looks back on her coverage of the 2015 San Francisco election and the millions of dollars poured into the campaign, as well as her reporting on the criminalization of homelessness. “Part of handling data in my reporting is to look for errors … there are mistakes, these data sets are human reported. Humans make errors.” — Journalist Sara Bloomberg