Home Burglary, Security Measures & Scams

Common Scams

  • BAIL BOND – A criminal will call the victim and explain their grandchild has been arrested.  The criminal may or may not provide the grandchild’s name.  In some cases, a person was placed on the phone pretending to be the grandchild as proof of being arrested.  The criminal will ask the victim to post (in other words, give) a sum of money in order for the grandchild to be released from jail.

    The criminal may give the victim instructions on what to say to a bank teller if they ask why cash is being withdrawn. The criminal may also instruct the victim to act upset and angry or to tell the bank employee that it is none of their business.

  • IRS SCAM – A criminal will call the victim and tell them that they owe the government money and face being arrested if they do not pay. To avoid being arrested, the victim must satisfy the debt by way of a MoneyGram or gift cards.

    The IRS will never call and attempt to settle a tax debt via MoneyGram or gift card.

Tips for Preventing Identity Theft

  • Avoid leaving outgoing mail in your mailbox. Take outgoing mail to the post office or to a US Postal Collection Box. 
  • Shred or tear up important documents that contain personal or financial information - don’t just throw them in the trash. Would-be thieves can sift through your garbage containers for your information.
  • When purchasing items or services online, only enter your credit card information via a secured site. The website will display an icon of a lock in the bottom of the web browser page if it is secure.
  • Review your Consumer Credit Report annually.
  • Avoid disclosing personal or financial information to anyone trying to sell you something over the telephone. If they are a legitimate person or business, they can mail you additional information, an application or identifying contact information.

Tips for Preventing Theft Online

  • Have only one dedicated credit card for internet purchases. Restrict the card's credit limit.
  • Be cautious when dealing with internet auctions, sales or classifieds. Be cautious about completing transactions outside of the auction house, using Western Union or wire transfers.
  • When selling something online, never ship the item or items until the check has cleared. If the check appears to be certified or a bank check, call the financial institution first to verify the check.
  • Install and update your anti-virus and anti-spyware software and scan your PC for potential threats. Just because you have the software doesn’t mean it finds everything unless you scan it.
  • Make sure your computer’s operating system is up to date.
  • Turn your desktop and laptop computers OFF when not in use.

Internet Safety for Children

  • Be mindful that your children can create more than one screen name or social networking profile.
  • Gaming systems that connect to the internet (such as Xbox, PlayStation, etc.) enable communications with strangers and share whether or not they are online.
  • Consider setting parental controls or monitoring software on gaming systems and internet-enabled devices.
  • Computers should never be set up in a child’s room.

Home Security Tips

  • Always keep all doors, windows, and garages locked whether you are home or not.
  • Install interior light timers and exterior motion sensor lights to give the appearance of occupancy even when you are not home.
  • Never leave deliveries sitting in front of your home for an extended period of time.
  • When you are away for a length of time, have a neighbor collect your mail and newspaper to avoid the appearance of vacancy.
  • Valuables should be secured in an alternate location rather than the master bedroom.
  • Park cars in the driveway when away from home.