The following Crime Prevention and Safety tips have been prepared to enhance the safety and security of our citizens. Please take a moment to review these easy to remember tips, and be sure to share them with family, neighbors and friends.
We can never be too careful!
Protecting Your Home and Property
ALWAYS lock your doors and windows.
If you have an alarm system, use it!
Remove packages and dry cleaning deliveries from your front porch in a timely manner.
At night, turn on outside lights.
Keep garage doors closed, unless you are in the immediate area.
NEVER announce that you are, or will be away from home on social network sites or home/work voice messaging.
If you travel and are away from home, set an automatic timer for your lights.
When traveling, ask a trustworthy neighbor(s) to keep an eye on your home, remove newspapers from the driveways edge, and collect your mail.
Make sure to hide your valuables. (Burglars ALWAYS visit the Master Bedroom)
If you are going away on vacation, the police department would like to know. With one simple call, we provide a free house check service to our residents while you are away. Please contact your Community Policing Officer for more information.
Protecting Your Vehicle and It's Contents
ALWAYS lock your car doors.
NEVER leave your keys in the vehicle.
NEVER leave anything of value in plain sight.
NEVER leave your purse or wallet unattended in your vehicle.
Always Park in a well-lit area at night.
Place valuables in your locked trunk.
FRAUD AND SCAM INFORMATION
DON'T BE A VICTIM....... Please take a moment and follow these helpful tips to protect yourself from fraud.
- Don’t be fooled by the promise of a valuable prize in return for a low-cost purchase.
- Be extra cautious about calls, emails or mailings offering international bonds or lottery tickets, a portion of a foreign dignitary’s bank account, free vacations, credit repair or schemes with unlimited income potential.
- Don’t be afraid to hang up the phone, delete the email or close your Internet connection.
- Don’t purchase a product or service without carefully checking out the product, service and company.
- Don’t be afraid to request further documentation from the caller so you can verify the validity of the company.
- Don’t disclose personal information about your finances, bank accounts, credit cards, social insurance and driver’s license numbers to any business that can’t prove it is legitimate.
- Shred unwanted personal information such as bank statements, credit card bills, unwanted receipts, checks, pre-approved credit applications and old tax returns.
- Check your credit report every year and report problems immediately.
- If a scam artist contacts you, or if you’ve been defrauded: Report it! Your reports are vital to the anti-fraud efforts of law enforcement agencies.
Scams commonly reported to the Police Department
IRS Scam. Impostors will also pretend to represent government agencies such as the IRS. "IRS scammers" will reach out by phone or email to state that the victim owes significant penalties and back taxes. Victims who refuse to pay may be threatened with arrest or deportation. In another variation, the victim is told he or she is entitled to a large refund – and must provide personal information that can expose the victim to identity theft.
UTILITY COMPANY. Business impostors may send emails purporting to be from the victim's phone or utility companies. The email may direct the victim to a website that seems genuine – and that will ask the victim to enter his or her credit card or other financial information.
Advance Fee Scams. These include sweepstakes scams and others in which the victim is told that he or she has won a prize or is otherwise entitled to a large sum of money – but must first send a smaller payment to cover taxes or fees. Victims who pay that "advance fee" never get the money that was promised.
Phishing Scams. Phishing refers to emails, text messages, social networking posts, or other online messages that appear to come from a friend or other trusted source. They will invite the victim to click on an innocent-looking link or attachment. This "Trojan horse" may expose the victim's computer to malware that will steal the victim's personal information, or ransom-ware that renders the victim's computer unusable unless money is paid to the criminals who sent the virus.
Among other pretexts, phishing scams have reportedly capitalized on recent high-profile data breaches. The affected companies often offer free credit monitoring and/or identity theft protection services to affected consumers. Scammers follow up on these announcements with their own phone calls or emails, pretending to offer information and help.
Cashier's Check Scams. These may include cashier's check that come in the mail, unannounced, to prospective victims – including one that appeared to be a check from the New Jersey State Treasury.
They may also include an offer from a "customer" to a victim who is selling goods online. A con artist may offer to purchase the items for more than the victim's asking price – but will say he or she can only pay by a cashier's check for an even higher amount.
In either case, the victim will be asked to deposit the check, then send a smaller amount back to the con artist. The fake cashier's check will look realistic enough to fool the teller at the victim's bank. The victim's bank account balance may at first appear to include the funds from the fake check.
It is only after sending money to the criminals that the victim will discover no money was actually deposited into his or her account – and the victim has lost whatever money was sent to the scammer.
Door-to-Door Solicitations. Not every door-to-door solicitation is a scam. But home improvement scammers and others have been known to prey on senior citizens and other victims through door-to-door solicitations. The scammer may say he or she just happened to be in the area and noticed serious problems with the victim's chimney or roof – but he or she can fix the problem for a small fee. Once the victim has paid, the scammer may perform work that is completely unnecessary – or may perform no work at all. Please remember, any person that goes door to door to solicit must have a permit issued by the Chatham Township Police Department and visible for inspection.
"Free Lunch" Seminars. Investment advisers may invite senior citizens to "free lunch" seminars at which the guests are treated to a sales pitch for an investment that may not be suitable for them. Anyone who attends the event should be prepared for what follows the meal – and should remember that showing up for the free lunch does not obligate anyone to make an investment. Consumers should not confuse a sales pitch for sound financial advice. The presenter will not know each attendee's specific financial circumstances and will not be in a position to know how they should best invest their money.
Charity Scams. Some purported charities have violated New Jersey law by misleading the public while soliciting donations. Before giving, potential donors should find out exactly how the charity plans to use their money – and how much will be spent on actual charitable programs, rather than fundraising or management costs. Charities that are not religious or educational institutions, and whose annual income includes at least $10,000 in public contributions and fundraising, must register with the Division of Consumer Affairs and provide this information.
Granny Scam. The "Grandparent Scam" remains a prominent member of this category. A con artist may start the phone call to a senior citizen by saying, "Grandpa, it's me!" Once the victim responds and provides the name of his or her grandchild, the impostor will say he or she ran into trouble, such as a drunk driving arrest, and needs bail money. To stop the victim from verifying the story, the criminal will often say, "Don't tell mom and dad. They would be so disappointed." He or she will ask the victim to send money through a wire transfer service or pre-loaded debit card.
For more information, please visit the FBI WEBSITE on Scam & Safety