Improve Your Online Skills, Get Fit and Protect Yourself and ‘Ohana From Fraud 

Craig Gima
Hawai‘i Herald Columnist

As we come out of the pandemic (fingers crossed), one of the lessons learned is how important it is for kūpuna to know how to use and have access to the internet. 

Kūpuna need to be online or be able to use smart phones to get healthcare through telehealth and make vaccination and other appointments. We need to be able to logon to Zoom meetings; follow family members and friends on Facebook; and protect personal information from online scammers.

Heck, even our TVs are smart and online. That’s why AARP Hawai‘i will hold a series of webinars in April and May to help kūpuna improve their online skills, get fit and protect themselves and their families from fraud.

Starting on Friday, April 22 through May 27, AARP Hawai‘i will be holding Friday technology workshops with Older Adults Technology Services/Senior Planet, an AARP-affiliated charity. The 10 a.m. webinars will teach you how to better use Zoom, how to make the most of your smart TV, protect your identity online, social media basics, and how to use Google maps to get around. 

For four weeks starting Wednesday, April 20, popular fitness instructor Cat Sawai of Body and Brain Yoga Tai Chi in ‘Aiea, will host mid-week fitness breaks at 8 a.m. on Zoom and the AARP Hawai‘i Facebook page. The webinars are free and designed to help people feeling “mid-weak” get through the work week.

AARP Hawai‘i is also helping kūpuna fight fraud with Fraud Watch Friday webinars on May 4 on “Thinking Like a Criminal, the Psychology of Fraud,” with Honolulu Supervising Deputy Prosecutor Scott Spalina. On May 11, learn about “Hawai‘i’s Top Frauds” and what you can do to protect yourself and your family from becoming victims. The webinars will be on Zoom and the AARP Hawai‘i Facebook page.

To register for any of our virtual and (soon to be in-person) events, go to or the AARP Hawai‘i Facebook page and click on Upcoming Events. If you know someone who may benefit from the technology workshops but might have trouble registering or going online, help them out. Help going online may also be available at their nearest public library.

Finally, here’s a fraud tip about donating to charities in the news. Beware of unsolicited emails, text messages and phone calls asking for donations to help Ukrainian war refugees. Scammers follow the news and are always looking to take advantage of what’s in today’s headlines.

Be especially wary if you get pressure to donate now or to buy a gift card for your donation. 

Be sure to check out charities at or other sites like or to make sure they are legitimate.

When it comes to fraud, vigilance is our number one weapon. Sign up for AARP Fraud Watch Network alerts at Trained fraud specialists are also available to provide support and guidance on what to do next and how to avoid scams in the future on the AARP Fraud Helpline at, or by calling 877-908-3360.

Craig Gima is communications director at AARP Hawai‘i. He is an award-winning multimedia communicator with more than 30 years of experience. A Honolulu native, Gima spent nearly 19 years at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser in a variety of reporting, editing and online roles before joining AARP in 2016. Gima graduated cum laude from the University of Southern California.



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