We hope all of you and your families are staying healthy in this terrible time. Please STAY HOME and encourage your younger relatives to do the same.

Attorney General Frosh Warns Marylanders About Coronavirus Disease 2019 Scams

 

BALTIMORE, MD (March 6, 2020) – Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh is warning Maryland residents to be on guard against scams involving the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (“COVID-19”). Scammers are setting up websites to sell bogus health products that claim to prevent or cure COVID-19, and using fake emails, texts, and social media posts about COVID-19 as a ruse to steal money and personal information.

“Scammers are taking advantage of people’s fear of getting sick from COVID-19. Consumers can avoid being cheated by understanding how these thieves are trying to steal their personal information and money,” said Attorney General Frosh.

Swindlers are posing as authorities, like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the World Health Organization (WHO). They send emails claiming to offer updated information about how people can protect themselves from COVID-19. Unsolicited emails from the CDC, WHO, or other “experts” saying they have information about the virus are likely phishing attempts to get money or personal information, or may be attempting to download viruses or malware onto the recipient’s computer. The Attorney General’s office advises Marylanders not to click on suspicious links online or in emails for information, but to seek information about COVID-19 from reliable sources such as government health agencies. For the latest, most accurate information about COVID-19, Marylanders can go directly to the CDC (www.cdc.gov), WHO (www.who.it), or the Maryland Department of Health (www.health.maryland.gov).

There are no approved vaccines, drugs, or treatment products specifically for COVID-19 available for purchase online or in stores. Pitches for any health product claiming to prevent or cure coronavirus are almost certainly fraudulent. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns that fraudulent products not only fail to work, but they could also cause serious injury. Scammers may be promoting their fraudulent health products through newspapers, magazines, TV infomercials, email, social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, and online through websites and popup ads. Complaints against these fraudulent health claims can be filed with the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov or the FDA (www.fda.gov). 

Someone asking for donations - especially in cash, prepaid credit cards, gift cards, or bitcoin - to help victims of COVID-19, or for “research” into finding a vaccine or cure, is very likely a scammer. Sites like www.charitynavigator.org can be used to determine the legitimacy of a charity. Donors can also contact the Maryland Secretary of State’s Office at 800-825-4510 to verify that a charity is registered in Maryland as required by law.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is warning people about online promotions, including on social media, claiming that the products or services of publicly-traded companies can prevent, detect, or cure coronavirus (and that investment in these stocks will increase in value). Investors may lose significant amounts of money if they invest in companies making fraudulent claims. Alternatively, these could be “pump-and-dump” schemes in which promoters hype up a stock, get many people to invest, and then sell off their own shares quickly for a profit—before the end of the hype makes the stocks worthless.

COVID-19 scams can be reported to our Consumer Protection Division by calling 410-528-8662, or by filing a report with WHO (https://www.who.int/about/report_scam/en/) or the FTC (ftc.gov/complaint).

HEART needs a new web "master."

Have you enjoyed the website? We use a very easy platform that anyone can learn quickly. It's fun and rewarding! Over the three years of its existence, the site now has 2,400+ individual viewers and over 3,400 hits including returning viewers!

 

Mary will be leaving this job at the end of June and would love to show the next person how easy it is to create a vibrant and informative website. Please let one of the officers know of your interest and we can set a time to meet. 

Are you an MRSPA member? Why not join today and sign up for automatic dues deduction? What a convenience! You don't have to remember to send a check each year. MRSPA has an incentive for new members. Click on the PDF for more information.

Please be aware:

HEART is not an official non-profit organization. This means that our dues are not deductible on your taxes. Neither are contributions to the Scholarship Fund.

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Meet your HEART officers

Co-President Addie Kaufman

After graduating from Boston University, I began my career in Hillside, NJ, as a teaching assistant. Shortly thereafter, I moved to Atlanta, GA, where I taught high school special education for five years. With a desire for an advanced degree, I moved back to New Jersey and obtained a M.Ed. in Administration & Supervision from Rutgers University. Moving to Maryland in 1986, I continued working as a special education teacher at Chatsworth Elementary School. After a year, I transferred to Howard County Public Schools and taught at Mt. Hebron High School for three years. I was then promoted to Assistant Principal at Atholton High School and moved laterally to Glenelg High School. When Dr. Hickey contacted me to ask if I wanted to be the principal of Mt. Hebron, I was thrilled; I stayed for six years. During that time, I attended University of Maryland, the school from which I received my doctorate (Ed.D.). Opening Reservoir High School as the founding principal was the highlight of my career! In 2011 I was transferred to Marriotts Ridge High School, and I retired from HCPSS in 2016.

Co-President Sue Mascaro

I began my tenure with the school system in 1984 as a science teacher at Hammond High School. I enjoyed working with high school students, both as a teacher and as a class advisor. While teaching, I collaborated with a science colleague at Mt. Hebron High School. to design and pilot the “independent research” program at the high school level. In 1985, I left the classroom to become an Assistant Principal. After five years as an AP at Hammond and Mt. Hebron high schools, I left the school setting to work as a hiring specialist and eventually Manager of Teacher Recruitment and Hiring in the Office of Human Resources. It was a wonderful opportunity to convince those new to the profession to join our outstanding school system. In 2002, I became Director of Staff Relations, working with school system and Union leadership to negotiate and implement employee contracts. Finally, I retired in 2015 as Chief of Staff to the Superintendent.

Co-Vice President Ronnie Bohn

I taught Business Education at Atholton High School from 1972-1993, with a B.S. and later an M.Ed. from the University of Maryland. While teaching, I became certified in Administration and Supervision. After three years as Assistant Principal/Acting Principal at the School of Technology and five years as Assistant Principal of Wilde Lake High School, I spent five years as Principal of Mt. Hebron High School. After a year as a central office Project Support Specialist, I continued six more years part-time in that position and completely retired from HCPSS in 2013.  

Co-Vice President Linda Storey

After studying biology at New York University, I decided to switch disciplines and subsequently majored in Linguistics at Columbia University graduate school. My first teaching job was in Rochester, New York, and after ten years I moved to Howard County, working 35 years as an English teacher in Howard and River Hill high schools. While teaching, I became certified in Administration and Supervision and thoroughly enjoyed serving as an instructional leader, professional development liaison, and curriculum writer until my retirement in 2018. My greatest honor was becoming Howard County's first State Teacher of the Year.

Treasurer Ellen Hill

I began my teaching career in 1978 in a small town in the Catskill Mountains of New York (one building for K-12). In 1980, I taught for one year in Harford County and then began my tenure with HCPSS in 1981 as a special education teacher at Hammond Elementary. In 1984, I “graduated” to middle school and taught at Owen Brown (now known as Lake Elkhorn) and stayed for 13 years. There were lots of changes to special education during that time as we moved away from “pull-out” classes to more team teaching and inclusion. I loved working with middle school students who taught me patience, flexibility, and the need for strong relationships. In 1997, I left the school setting and became a Resource Teacher in the Department of Special Education where I worked with middle and high school teachers. I was able to obtain a broader knowledge of how special education services were implemented throughout the school system and continued to work in both instruction and compliance of special education regulations. From 2006 through my retirement in 2015, I worked as an Instructional Facilitator for High Schools in DSE and continued my work with staff, students and families. A major focus was providing professional development to general and special education teachers, as well as ensuring students with IEPs met their academic and social goals with an emphasis on preparing them to successfully transition to post-secondary options.

Interim Secretary Janet Zimmerman

I began my teaching career in 1974 in Prince George’s County teaching fifth grade. I taught grades five and six for nine years before resigning to become a stay-at-home mom. After seven years I returned to education in HCPSS, first as an Instructional Assistant at Longfellow for one year and then the school’s special education resource teacher for three years. I enjoyed the challenge of educating students in kindergarten through fifth grade; no two days were ever the same. At that time, including students with IEPs in general education classrooms was in its infancy. It was very exciting to see some of my students join their peers and do extremely well. In 1993 I left Longfellow when I was promoted to Resource Teacher for the Department of Special Education, working with special education teachers in elementary, middle, and high schools, with a focus on instruction and compliance. In 2004 my role as a Resource Teacher shifted to focus on special education compliance and monitoring students in nonpublic placements until 2010 when I was promoted to Instructional Facilitator for Compliance and Nonpublic School placements. My responsibilities as Instructional Facilitator also included serving as the Section 504 Coordinator for the school system until my retirement in 2015. In retirement I thoroughly enjoy making my own schedule and working part time as a consultant in special education.

Past President Mary Teague

My experience in HCPSS began at Centennial High School where I taught English from 1997-2003 and was Department Chair for one year. After that I moved to the Office of Professional Development as a Facilitator. I enjoyed working with a variety of schools and personnel on topics such as leadership and multicultural education. After that until my retirement in 2014, I was a Facilitator for Secondary Language Arts and loved visiting schools to support English teachers. Before working in Howard County, I taught in Baltimore City and at Calvert Hall High School and the Catholic High School of Baltimore.

HEART: The Association of Retired Howard County (Maryland) School Personnel, welcomes teachers, administrators, support staff, and anyone else who has retired from Howard County Public Schools (HCPSS).

©2017-2019 by HEART: The Association of Retired Howard County School Personnel.

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