Info. from Green Valley Council

May 1, 2024

Citizens Corp Emergency Response CommitteeMay MessageGreen Valley Sheriff’s Auxiliary Volunteers (GVSAV):SPOOFING: THINK BEFORE CLICKING ON WEBSITE LINKSAn important tool in the scammers’ toolbox is the ability to fake what seems to be a legitimate website or email. This “spoofing” ploy can easily trick you into thinking that you’re dealing with a legitimate company, so clicking on a website link in an email might seem safe. Unfortunately, that link will direct you to the scammers. If you have a keen eye, you can spot the bad actors. Websites with graphics that look exactly like a real company’s may have slight misspellings in the URL (web address), or email address, but they will be close enough to the real ones that they will be difficult to notice.  Many of these scams begin with a pop-up on your computer screen. It will say that your computer has a virus. The pop-up will have a logo that looks like a familiar company and will include a link. The link will allow you to scan your computer for viruses and malware after you provide personal information, including a credit card number to pay for the service. Another ploy is to allow another person to take over your computer so the “expert” can find and delete the virus. All you need to do is authorize a remote connection to the “helpful” technician. If you agree to the remote connection, that “technician” will have access to everything on your computer, including any saved IDs and passwords. Don’t ever authorize a remote connection unless you are the one who initiates the contact with a trusted service. Remember, if you don’t have an account with the supposed company, you should not be receiving pop-up messages from them. You should also save the URLs (web addresses) of your actual on-line accounts as bookmarks. Then, if you do get a pop-up from what looks like your bank, brokerage, or security service, you can go directly to your bookmark to log in. You will probably find no indication on the legitimate website that you have a virus or security issue.TWO-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION CAN SAVE YOU FROM SCAMMERSHaving your accounts protected by a simple password can lead to unauthorized access. In the likely case that a website you use was breached, your account information may have been stolen. If you use the same password on other sites and apps, it could be used to access important accounts like your bank or investment accounts. Many online sites now provide multi-factor authentication. Think of it as something you have and something you know. You know your username and password, and you have a physical phone. Without both, you cannot login to a website or app. This will help protect your critical accounts from unauthorized access. It is strongly recommended to enable multi-factor authentication wherever it is offered. Visit our website to check for other scams and alerts. You can also contact the GVSAV Scam Squad by calling 520-351-6715 Monday through Thursday 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM. To report an incident of fraud (money lost to a scam) call 911 or 520-351-4900. Green Valley Fire District (GVFD):BEWARE OF CRITTERS OF THE DESERT: SNAKES AND OTHER PESTSThis month we will be reviewing the most common venomous desert pests and snakes in the Southwest, how to recognize them, where they can be found, and what to do if you are bitten or stung. Western Diamondback Rattlesnake – most rattlesnake encounters happen in the spring and summer. These snakes enjoy warm weather and it’s not uncommon to see them sunning themselves on rocks or even the road. There are 19 types of rattlesnakes in Arizona. These snakes are pit vipers and have heat-sensing organs in the pits of their eyes, this is how they can strike in the darkness. These snakes can be identified by their triangular-shaped head, two dark diagonal lines on each side of their face, and the dark diamond-shaped patterns along their back. Rattlesnakes use their rattle as a warning system (hence the name) – and if you hear it, you need to step back in the direction that you came to be out of striking distance, which can be approximately 2 feet. If you are bitten, you need to seek immediate medical attention. Although the bite is rarely fatal, you need to stay calm – you don’t want to get your heart rate up because this will increase the venom absorption. Do not try to suck out the venom and do not apply a tourniquet to the bite area. Do not try to bandage, wash, or irrigate the bite site.  Remove any clothing or jewelry that may be restrictive, as the wound will swell.Try to stay calm and get medical attention immediately – getting medical care within the first 6 hours lowers the fatality rate.Gila Monsters – are the largest venomous lizards native to the United States. They can grow up to 2 feet in length and have big heads, long toes with sharp claws, and have bodies covered in pink, yellow, and black scales. They move slowly and awkwardly and have poor eyesight – these reptiles are protected by Arizona law from being captured, killed, or sold. These creatures live in burrows and under rocks. They are primarily nocturnal and spend most of their time underground, leaving only to look for food. If you see one out and about, give it space as it is hungry and looking for food. Gila Monsters are not aggressive and will not chase humans; however, if provoked they will bite. A bite can happen very quickly and when they bite, they clamp down and do not let go. If you are bitten, you will need to keep the bite site below heart level and seek immediate medical attention. Irrigate the wound with water only – anything else may cause further injury and/or infection. Gila Monster bites can include swelling, profuse sweating, vomiting, dizziness, and bruising.Arthropods – Over 4,500 arthropod bites and stings are reported each year in Arizona. The most common ones we see are bees, spiders, and scorpions. Bees are generally not aggressive, but they will defend themselves and protect their hive by stinging people and pets and injecting venom. In most cases a single sting results in a mild reaction – you can easily remove the stinger by using a credit card or fingernail and dragging it over your skin to pull it out. There may be some redness or swelling, but that will usually subside in a few hours. If a person is allergic to bees, the bee sting can cause an anaphylactic reaction. It is therefore important to recognize the symptoms of anaphylaxis. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, swelling of the tongue or throat, rapid pulse, nausea, hives, dizziness, and loss of consciousness. For these individuals, immediate emergency medical treatment is required. Many individuals who are allergic to bees are aware of that fact and may carry an Epi-Pen that will stop the severe symptoms, although they should still seek immediate medical care. Spiders – our warm climate makes Southern Arizona a perfect place for spiders to live. Some prefer dark areas and can be found in homes, often in closets, drawers, or on clothes. Others like the outdoors, and can be found in wood piles, under flowerpots, in corners of garages, and inside gloves, boots, or hats. Two spiders to take note of are the black widow spider and the brown recluse. Black widow spiders are generally well-known and are black in color with a unique bright red hourglass-shaped marking on their belly. It is the female black widow spiders that usually bite. Male black widow spiders can be brown or black, but do not have the hourglass marking on their belly. Instead, they have red and white spots or stripes on their abdominal area. If bitten, along with severe pain you may also experience stiffness and muscle spasms throughout your body. Symptoms also include difficulty breathing, swelling of the eyes, nausea, vomiting, fever, and chills. Seek medical attention immediately.Brown recluse spiders have a violin-shaped mark on their heads. They also have six eyes, whereas most spiders have eight. Brown recluse spiders like to live in seclusion and generally bite when pressed against the skin. This usually happens when they are hiding in shoes, towels, bedding, and inside hats or gloves. Their bites are different from the black widow spiders in that the bite may not be noticed immediately and symptoms may not present themselves for several days. Their bites can cause swelling, pain, itching, redness, tenderness, blisters, and even tissue necrosis (death of body tissue). Seek medical attention if these symptoms present themselves.Scorpions – there are several species of scorpions in Arizona, with the bark scorpion considered the most life threatening. The bark scorpion generally grows to about 2-3 inches long and has a slender tail. Although its venom is considered deadly to humans, death is usually rare. Scorpions are most active at night during the summer months, and they use their sting as a defense mechanism. Their sting causes immediate pain, numbness, and tingling. If bitten stay calm and clean the wound with mild soap and water. If symptoms worsen, seek medical attention. You can also contact Poison Control at 800-222-1222.Remember that these desert critters are part of our environment and part of our community. These critters are generally not aggressive, and most bites and stings happen by accident. Their bites and stings are rarely fatal. Always be aware of your surroundings and if you happen to see a snake or Gila Monster, give them a wide berth. If you are bitten or stung, seek immediate medical attention. Share your knowledge with your friends and neighbors – we live in a beautiful place, and we should not be afraid to go out and enjoy it.Our fire safety articles, and all our other safety articles can be found on our website ( by pressing “menu” and selecting “Tips to Keep You Safe”.“Remember to always be aware of the desert critters that share our community.”