March is fraud prevention month

Have you ever been scammed? How do you protect yourself from giving out too much information?  Do you know what to do if you accidentally do make yourself vulnerable to fraud? For most of us, the answers to these questions are “I have no idea.” 

Fraud comes in many forms: an unsolicited phone call by a technician claiming he can fix your virus infected computer, an email announcing you won a large lottery or sweepstake that you never entered, a free trial that turns into recurrent monthly charges on the credit card you used to pay for the shipping.

Whether it’s online, by phone, or in person, fraud is a criminal act, yet countless cases go unreported. No one wants to admit to being duped, but reports are vital to the anti-fraud efforts of law enforcement agencies. Fraud Prevention Month is an annual public awareness campaign that works to prevent Canadians from becoming victims of fraud by helping them recognize, reject, and report it.

Held at St. Paul’s United Church meeting hall, 211 des Pins, in Magog, on the menu for lunch is Italian pasta and bean soup, tossed salad à la Olive Garden, and panna cotta with raspberry sauce for dessert. There is a $7 fee for lunch, no reservations are required. There is no fee for the fraud presentation.

Food for Thought learning lunches from Townshippers’ Association connects caregivers in the English-speaking community to topical health and wellness information and resources, and, most importantly, to each other. This activity is made possible by the Tillotson Coaticook Region Fund and is a CHSSN initiative funded by Health Canada through the Roadmap for Canada’s Official Languages 2013-2018: Education, Immigration, Communities. [The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of Health Canada.]

Free income tax service is moving

Townshippers’ is handing our busy annual tax preparation clinic into the very capable hands of the Literacy in Action team. Starting March 12, 2018, the Lennoxville based not-for-profit literacy organization will help taxpayers with a modest income and a simple tax situation to file their basic returns. 

Townshippers’ has been a long-time participant in the Canada Revenue Agency’s Community Volunteer Income Tax Program, starting the clinic in 2005 with just 45 clients and serving more than 300 people in the last tax season. While it has been a pleasure to serve our community through this clinic, the time has come to hand over this successful activity to another community organization.

The clinic is designed to help people on a limited income, such as students and seniors, to file their taxes and get the benefits they’re entitled to. To be eligible for the service, the total family income for your situation must be $30,000 for one person, $40,000 for a couple, $35,000 for an individual with a dependant, for each additional dependant $2,500 can be added to the income level.

The tax preparation clinic will be added to Literacy in Action’s offerings of free educational activities and services to the region’s English-speaking community. Located on Connolly Street, the volunteer-based organization is working to foster a community of learners through activities such as one-on-one tutoring, game nights, workshops and more.

For information about Literacy in Action’s activities, call 819-346-7009 or visit www.lia-estrie.org. For the 2017 tax season, please wait until March 12 to contact Literacy in Action.

If you don’t qualify for the free clinic but need help finding an income tax service near you, contact the Canada Revenue Agency at 1-800-267-6999.

This weekly column in The Record keeps you in touch with Townshippers’ Association’s activities and news. For other ways to keep in touch with us, visit our website www.Townshippers.org, follow us on Facebook.com/Townshippers, Twitter @Townshippers or get in touch with our offices in Sherbrooke at 100 – 257 Queen, 819-566-5717, toll-free: 1-866-566-5717, or Lac-Brome at 3-584 Knowlton Rd, 450-242-4421, toll-free: 1-877-242-4421.


Publication: Keeping in Touch column, Sherbrooke Record, Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Photo Credit: Townshippers’ Association

Photo Caption: Thanks to a small army of volunteers, Townshippers’ has been offering the free income tax preparation clinic to the public since 2005. On March 12, 2018, the clinic is moving to Literacy in Action, which already offers a variety of free activities and service to the region’s English-speaking community.

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