City of San Diego Retired Employees Association
February 12, 2019
General Meeting Minutes


The minutes for the January 2019 meeting were approved.

Cynthia Queen of SDCERS apologized for the delay in mailing the 1099 forms. She explained that the forms were sent to the mail house on time (January 31), but that the mail house is located in the Chicago area and mailing was delayed due to the extreme cold weather (the polar vortex) that shut down most of the upper Midwest for several days. She also explained that this particular firm was chosen to do the mailings because they offered greater security precautions when dealing with sensitive personal

Vice-President for Advocacy Mike Bresnahan informed members of an ongoing series of briefings REA has been holding with City Councilmembers. So far, board members have met with Chris Ward (D3), Scott Sherman (D7), and Council President Georgette Gomez (D9); a meeting with Monica Montgomery (D4) is in the works. The meetings are basic introductory “meet and greet” and the councilmembers have been receptive.

Mary Ann Stepnowsky presented our new website, and walked members through its
various features.


The program was Steve Spinella, Deputy District Attorney, who spoke on identity theft and online scams. The keyword he gave was “vigilance” – keep your eyes open and suspect trickery. He offered up some easy tips for avoiding scams or hacking or phishing: shred all sensitive documents and don’t leave anything with personal information in your car; don’t reply to phone “surveys” that ask for personal information; do not open unsolicited emails, especially those with vague subject lines (“Here’s something you might be interested in!”); don’t respond to phone calls from the IRS (they conduct all
their business through the US Mail); and do not use public WiFi (ie, in a library or coffeehouse) for conducting sensitive transactions. He warned about posting too much personal information on social media and to be aware that malware can sometimes be embedded in innocuous postings such as cat videos. If a caller or emailer insists that their issue is urgent, that’s a tip-off that it is probably a scam. On the plus-side, he stated that California fraud laws are skewed to benefit the consumer; financial institutions will absorb any losses, however you must keep close tabs on your accounts and report suspicious activity as soon as possible; failure to notify your financial institution in a timely manner could result in your bearing the costs of the fraudulent activity.