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Safety

Don’t be a victim of fraud!

Police Sgt. Jason Lamb gave an excellent presentation at our April 2024 annual meeting on crime prevention, focusing in particular on fraud that targets communities like ours. Some notes:

  • Property theft
    • Burglaries, cat burgalries (when you are in the house), car theft. Gated communities don’t protect you!
    • People look for crimes of opportunities.
    • Keep doors and windows locked. Their goal is just to walk in and grab something not harm you.
    • Always lock doors
    • Motion lights – big fan of these.
    • Cameras – they deter crime too, criminals tend to avoid. But if they do, then film goes to detectives
    • Dogs – another tool
    • Social media – don’t post your vacations! 
    • Valet keys – most cars have an extra valet key, people keep the “valet key” in the glove box. Don’t do that! 
    • Be mindful of what you keep that’s visible in your car. Especially at trailheads.
    • Window treatments – close drapes, blinds so people can’t case your home easily from outside
    • Identity Theft
      • Fake credit cards
      • Purchasing (high end) vehicles that get dropped off
      • Wire transfers
      • Steal your money – credit card, bank withdrawal
      • Steal money of others
      • Use your name to scam others
      • Taxes – tax fraud is huge. Billions.
    • How is info obtained
      • Skimming, credit card scanner they put a camera over a credit card machine, then they pick it up later.
      • Gas pumps and banks – they install cameras, to get PIN
      • Phishing – email that looks just like your bank, your utility company etc with a link, you click, you login and then they have your login. And they will keep calling you.
      • Data breaches – all kinds of places have them
      • Never use the blue mailbox at the post office, or anywhere! They use sticky paper and fish mail out of the blue box
      • Someone at Starbucks creates a wifi network names “Starbucks” and then get your info
      • Checks – avoid using checks whenever you can.
    • What to do if your identity is stolen?
      • Stop the bleeding.
      • Freeze credit
      • Credit report – annualcreditreport.com
      • Police report
      • Notifications
      • Notify banks
      • Notify credit bureaus
      • Password change
    • How to Prevent!
      • Passwords – do NOT use the same password across logins anywhere ever!
      • Use well-lit gas stations, ATM’s
      • Mail – have a locking mailbox at home, take mail into Post Office do NOT use blue box
      • Emails and phone calls – don’t respond to them, go to the bank itself and log in or call
      • Police will never call you – even if it looks like its coming from PS Police, or IRS etc. If you have a question, call us.
      • Credit vs Debit – always use your credit option, bypass using your PIN. Bank will give you money back if you used credit option. At ATM, make sure it’s well lit. One you have to swipe to get in. Cover your pin entry always! Because they may have placed a camera. 
      • Be wary of public wifi
      • Lock doors
      • Don’t keep info in vehicles
      • Shred documents
      • Educate yourself FTC.gov
      • Don’t use checks – pay online. If you do use checks, drop them off in the post office.
      • Data scrubber services are available if you want to check them.
    • Scams
      • Craigslist – never use to buy cars, rentals etc
      • Rental scams
      • Romance scams
      • Actors – cops, IRS
      • Prizes, contests
      • Payments in gift cards
      • Extortion
      • Charities – after disaster charities reach out to you, 90% of the time it’s a scam