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IDENTITY THEFT and CREDIT CARD FRAUD

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Man With A Mask

Identity Crisis? Protecting Yourself Against Identity Theft

Life has become a lot easier over the last few years-you can get money in a flash with ATM machines, pay for your groceries with debit cards and buy anything you need online. But life has become just as easy for thieves. All of this new technology gives them more ways to get your personal information and rip you off. Here's how you can protect yourself and your identity.

Beware of "Shoulder Surfers" and "Dumpster Divers"

It's hard to believe, but someone could be looking over your shoulder or digging through your garbage to get the financial goods on you--personal data like your Social Security number, or your bank, credit card, or telephone calling card number. This information can be used in a flash to assume your financial identity. This could leave you under a virtual black cloud of credit and legal problems that may follow you for years. To weather this storm, you need the cold hard facts on how to avoid becoming a victim and guidelines for quick action should your luck change. So don't let some shady character rain on your parade. Get the facts, know your options, and minimize your risk. Start by visiting the Federal Trade Commission's web site (Click here for link). It will help keep your financial forecast bright and your identity to yourself.

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Man At ATM

Why Is ID Theft Such a Big Deal?

If someone has key pieces of your personal data, like your Social Security number, date of birth, or your mother's maiden name, he or she could take over your financial accounts, apply for new credit cards, open new bank accounts, buy a new car, even apply for Social Security benefits. Ultimately, they can drain your bank accounts and ruin your credit rating. In the worst case scenario, the ID thief could even commit another more serious crime, under your name, and give you a criminal record.

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Other Resources

This is just a brief overview. For more information on ID theft, check out these resources from FCIC and on the World Wide Web:

Pubs Available for Ordering from FCIC:

Web Sites*:

*If you click on these links, you are leaving FCIC's web site. Please bookmark us before you leave so you can return easily. FCIC is not responsible for the content of these web sites.

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Crook With Money Bag

How Can Crooks Get My Personal Data?

It's easier than you think for criminals to get their hands on your personal data. They don't even have to break into your home or steal your wallet or mail to do so. You could unwittingly be making their "job" easier. For example, do you make credit card calls in public places? Do you swipe your debit card at the supermarket and punch in your PIN number in plain view of other customers? Do you forget to cut up any credit cards you don't want or need before throwing them in the trash? Simple everyday tasks like these could help a criminal help himself to your personal data. Here are some other tips to minimize your risk.

  1. Never give out your personal information like Social Security number, date of birth, mother's maiden name, credit card number over the telephone unless you initiated the call to a trusted organization.
  2. Memorize your pin numbers or passwords; don't keep them in your wallet.
  3. Sign all new credit cards upon receipt.
  4. Report lost or stolen credit cards immediately.
  5. Remove mail promptly from your mailbox after delivery.
  6. Save all credit card receipts and match them against your monthly bill.
  7. Never loan your credit cards.
  8. Never leave receipts at bank machines, gas stations or restaurants.

Because the US Postal Inspection Service plays such a key role in trying to stamp out mail fraud, check out www.usps.gov/postalinspectors for more information.

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Man with bill

What if I am a Victim of ID Theft?

As soon as you know or suspect that you've been victimized, act quickly. Contact all of your creditors-by phone and in writing. And notify your local police, your banks, the DMV, the US Postal Inspection Service and the three credit bureaus' fraud units:

  • Equifax Credit Bureau, Fraud
    1-800-525-6285
  • Experian Information Solutions
    1-888-397-0949
  • TransUnion Credit Bureau, Fraud
    1- 800-680-7289

You should ask for a "Fraud Alert/Victim Impact" statement to be placed in your credit file. And ask your banks for a new pin number and password. Be sure to keep good records of all contact you make to notify companies and creditors of your situation.

You can also call the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-ID-THEFT to report the problem and the Social Security Administration's Fraud Hotline at 1-800-269-0271.

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For more information on other popular consumer issues check out FCIC's Consumer Focus Archive.

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This service is provided by the Federal Consumer Information Center of the U.S. General Services Administration. The posting above is reprinted from their website for your information.  The GRPD takes no responsibility for it's content and provides the information as a community service.  If you have a comment or question, e-mail them at catalog.pueblo@gsa.gov

 

How Not to Get Hooked by a ‘Phishing’ Scam

Internet scammers casting about for people’s financial information have a new way to lure unsuspecting victims: They go “phishing.”

Phishing is a high-tech scam that uses spam or pop-up messages to deceive you into disclosing your credit card numbers, bank account information, Social Security number, passwords, or other sensitive information.

                         According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), phishers send an email or pop-up message that claims to be from a business or organization that you deal with – for example, your Internet service provider (ISP), bank, online payment service, or even a government agency. The message usually says that you need to “update” or “validate” your account information. It might threaten some dire consequence if you don’t respond. The message directs you to a Web site that looks just like a legitimate organization’s site, but it isn’t. The purpose of the bogus site? To trick you into divulging your personal information so the operators can steal your identity and run up bills or commit crimes in your name.

The FTC, the nation’s consumer protection agency, suggests these tips to help you avoid getting hooked by a phishing scam:

                           If you get an email or pop-up message that asks for personal or financial information, do not reply or click on the link in the message. Legitimate companies don’t ask for this information via email. If you are concerned about your account, contact the organization in the email using a telephone number you know to be genuine, or open a new Internet browser session and type in the company’s correct Web address. In any case, don’t cut and paste the link in the message.

                           Don’t email personal or financial information. Email is not a secure method of transmitting personal information. If you initiate a transaction and want to provide your personal or financial information through an organization’s Web site, look for indicators that the site is secure, like a lock icon on the browser’s status bar or a URL for a website that begins “https:” (the “s” stands for “secure”). Unfortunately, no indicator is foolproof; some phishers have forged security icons.

                           Review credit card and bank account statements as soon as you receive them to determine whether there are any unauthorized charges. If your statement is late by more than a couple of days, call your credit card company or bank to confirm your billing address and account balances.

                           Use anti-virus software and keep it up to date. Some phishing emails contain software that can harm your computer or track your activities on the Internet without your knowledge. Anti-virus software and a firewall can protect you from inadvertently accepting such unwanted files. Anti-virus software scans incoming communications for troublesome files. Look for anti-virus software that recognizes current viruses as well as older ones; that can effectively reverse the damage; and that updates automatically.
A firewall helps make you invisible on the Internet and blocks all communications from unauthorized sources. It’s especially important to run a firewall if you have a broadband connection. Finally, your operating system (like Windows or Linux) may offer free software “patches” to close holes in the system that hackers or phishers could exploit.

                           Be cautious about opening any attachment or downloading any files from emails you receive, regardless of who sent them.

                           Report suspicious activity to the FTC. If you get spam that is phishing for information, forward it to spam@uce.gov. If you believe you’ve been scammed, file your complaint at www.ftc.gov, and then visit the FTC’s Identity Theft Web site at www.consumer.gov/idtheft to learn how to minimize your risk of damage from ID theft. Visit www.ftc.gov/spam to learn other ways to avoid email scams and deal with deceptive spam.

The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit www.ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

For more information on protecting yourself from identity theft click on the icon for the Identity Theft Resource Center.  

AND CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION

 

Auto Burglary / Theft of Property From a Vehicle

 How Can Your Complacency Affect Crime?

The three elements needed to commit a crime are desire, ability, and opportunity.  Complacency creates opportunity and ability.  If you can remove the opportunity or ability, you can help prevent the crime.

What Items Are Most Commonly Stolen from Vehicles?

  • Briefcases

  • Garage door openers

  • Cash

  • Gym bags

  • Computers

  • Jewelry

  • Cell phones (& chargers)

  • Keys

  • CDs and CD cases

  • Mail

  • Palm Pilots

  •  Purses

  • Stereos and faceplates

  • Tools

  • Wallets (even if under seat or in console)

 

What Steps Can I Take To Prevent Becoming a Victim?

This is what your car looks like to a thief! 

  Drawing of a car with little signs that read..this is what your car looks like to a theif.

  • Remove visible items from your vehicle. If you leave items visible in your car, you are a target. Be aware that someone may be watching as you put a wallet, purse, or cell phone under your seat, especially at a gym. Take these with you.
  • Lock Up!
  • Lock your vehicle and take your keys, even for quick errands or in your driveway.
  • Lock the trunk, hatchback or tailgate to block access into the car.
  • Close all windows, including vent or wing windows and sunroofs.
  • Park Safely!
    • At home, park in your garage if you have one. Lock your car and all garage doors.
    • Park in a well-lighted area.
    • Check to see that your vehicle is visible from pedestrian and vehicular traffic.

 

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Residential & Commercial Burglary 
Prevention Tips

A general definition of burglary is when someone unlawfully enters an establishment with the intent to commit a crime, i.e. theft.

Ninety per cent of burglary prevention is physical security. If your home is locked up and unauthorized entry is made difficult, time consuming, noisy and visible, chances of a successful burglary are kept to a minimum. The burglar will pass up your home or business and look for an easier target.

When attempting to improve the security of your property, think like a criminal and go over your entire store or home in fine detail, looking for any means of entrance or criminal opportunity.

PREVENTION

         LOCKS on all outside entrances and inside security doors should be double cylinder deadbolts with moveable collars. The deadbolt should have at least one inch throw containing a hardened steel insert and protected by a latch guard. Check with the Fire Marshall for safety requirements.

         PADLOCKS should be of hardened steel, mounted on bolted hasps and always locked to prevent exchange. Serial numbers should be filed off to prevent new keys from being made.

         DOORS (all outside or security doors) should be of solid construction, metal lined and secured with heavy metal crossbars. Jams around doors must be solid. All exposed hinges should be pinned to prevent removal.

         WINDOWS should have secure locks. Burglar-resistant glass treatments are also recommended. An example would be the installation of polyester security film. However, this must be used in conjunction with the alarm's glass break sensor. Heavy metal grates may be used on windows of high vulnerability (such as rear windows). Check with the Fire Marshall for safety requirements.

         LIGHTS must provide optimum visibility, both inside and out, with those outside having vandal-proof covers over the lights and power source.* At HOME, CREATE THE ILLUSION SOMEONE IS INSIDE * Use timer controlled or motion detector lights and have a radio or a television on a timers to make it appear as if your house is occupied. Avoid clues that might tip-off a burglar that you are away, even for one evening. Arrange for the collection of mail and newspapers. Have neighbors park a car in your driveway, and keep some blinds or shades open (preferably on the second floor) to give the appearance that everything is normal.

         ALARM SYSTEM should be supplied by a licensed alarm company with a central monitoring station. Check the alarm system on a daily basis, and advertise its presence to deter break-ins.

  • COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR NEIGHBORS.  Let your neighbors know when you will be away, even if for only one day.  Also advise them if you will be having visitors who might be driving cars that are not familiar to them.  Also, it is a good idea to let them know if someone will be coming to your home to feed the animals or water the plants while you are away.

         CASH REGISTER should be kept in plain view from outside the building so it can be easily monitored and should be left open when empty and not in use.

         SAFE should be fire proof, burglar resistant, anchored securely.  Most importantly, remember to use it to lock up valuables when business is closed or when you will be away. Make sure it is locked and if it is your business safe, remember to change the combination whenever someone with access to it leaves your employment.

  • SAFEGUARD YOUR VALUABLES.  Engrave jewelry, watches, televisions and other portable items with your social security number or other identifiable label. Consider storing valuable jewelry and cash in a bank safe-deposit box, or a hidden safe inside your home. Most burglars go directly to the master bedroom looking for jewelry and other small items.

         BUILDING EXTERIOR should be checked including the roof, cellar and walls. Secure all openings.  If there are shrubs around your house, think about trimming them so the will not block clear visibility of your windows.

         MAINTAIN GOOD VISIBILITY by not allowing landscaping, boxes, trash bins, vehicles or equipment near building where they might provide concealment or access to the roof.

         PERIMETER FENCES need to be adequate enough to keep intruders out, and at the same time allow good visibility of your business by neighbors and police (i.e. vertical iron bar fence or 1/8 inch mesh vinyl coated chain link).

         KEY CONTROL should be done in a responsible manner. A master key system where one key opens all locks may be convenient, but it may not be the best for security. Code all keys, keep them locked up when not in use, and do not allow employees to leave them lying around or make duplicates. Change locks whenever you suspect key security has been jeopardized.

         ID numbers should be marked on all equipment and stickers should be displayed to make this plainly evident to would-be thieves.  Also keeping a record of serial numbers on all equipment may help in recovery.

         SECURE equipment and merchandise in order to delay a burglar in his attempt to clean you out in a hurry.

         PUT YOUR HOME ON THE POLICE DEPARTMENT'S VACANT HOUSE LIST.      

As part of our community service programs, the Department maintains a voluntary listing of all vacant homes in the Borough.  Whether your away for the weekend or for six months, you can call the Department and request that your home be added to the Vacant House List.  

In addition to providing the telecommunicator with your local information, please be ready to provide them with the dates that you will be away, a contact number or location you can be reached (if possible) and several local contacts who would have access to your home or can contact you, in case of an emergency.  Also it is helpful for us to know if you have someone in and out of your house to care for plants or animals, if there are lights on timers, cars in the driveway and if there is an alarm.  

 

If you DISCOVER a Burglary to your Home or Business

You do not want to walk in on a burglar. Although they usually do not want, or look for a confrontation, however if cornered, he or she may become violent. If you arrive home or to your business and find a smashed window or kicked in door and have any reason to believe that an unauthorized entry has been made, then proceed as follows:

         Immediately back out and call the police from a safe place.

         Protect access to the scene.

         Disclose information to the authorities only.

  • REPORT ALL SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY TO THE POLICE.

Any unknown persons, vehicles, or unusual activity in your neighborhood should be reported to the police as soon as possible. Always try to obtain as much descriptive information about the person (i.e. gender, clothing description, build, etc.) or vehicle (i.e. plate number, color, make, model, description of occupants) as you can, without alerting possible suspects.

If you have any questions or concerning crime prevention strategies please call the Glen Rock Police Department at (201) 652-3800 or E-Mail us at CRIME-TIPS  If you observe anything suspicious or have an emergency, dial 9-1-1 immediately.

 

"GYPSY" BURGLARS

A few years ago the entire Northern New Jersey area was plagued with transient burglars, commonly referred to as "gypsy burglars" and Glen Rock was no exception.  The term gypsy is defined as: "to live or roam like a Gypsy." These roaming thieves were well known for their brazen burglaries of our residents. The burglars consist of numerous individuals, usually "extended family" members, who walk through the neighborhoods looking for "easy" targets, oftentimes preying on the elderly. At the time, through the efforts of many, these individuals were identified. Some were arrested, and most left the area.  

They're Back!!!

Recently our area has experienced a few burglaries in which detectives believe the actors are members of these roaming groups. Their M.O. (modus operandi) includes, but is not limited to the following:

They will drop off one of their people, usually a female, who walks the neighborhoods. She will approach a home and try the doors. If she locates an unlocked door, she walks in and begins her search for valuables. If she runs into anyone in the house, she will apologize for being in the "wrong house", and explain that she was looking for a friend.

They will work in pairs, with one person approaching the front door of a home. While this person is distracting the home's occupant, the second person enters the home from the rear and begins to search for valuables. They will also ask to use the phone, and again while in the home, one person will distract the occupant while the other slips away to steal valuables.

Another way they apply their trade is when they pose as utility workers, exterminators, or repair people, and while one is distracting the home's occupant, the second is stealing.

In almost all cases there is an accomplice nearby, generally down the street, in a vehicle. This person is there to warn of approaching police with a pre-arranged signal, and to provide a getaway vehicle after the theft occurs.

By far, these are not the only burglary groups that operate in our area.  In addition to the "gypsy burglars," Glen Rock officers and detectives are constantly kept informed of the different groups or individuals that have been know to target our area.  When information about a new actor or group is developed it is passed onto patrols through the Departments' Patrol Alert Sheet.  Of course it is almost impossible to track, or even be aware of, all the new or changing groups or individuals.  Some are just "locals" looking to get some extra money.

How can you help? Again, we at the G.R.P.D. are asking for your assistance. Anytime you see or experience anything of an unusual nature, call the police immediately. If you see someone walking your neighborhood streets that you don't recognize, call the police immediately. If you find someone in your home, or in your backyard, and you don't know them, call the police immediately. If someone approaches your home, and you didn't have an appointment with them, don't let them in (even if they claim to be from a reputable company, or the city, or the power company, etc…), and call the police immediately. And most of all keep an eye out for your neighbors as well. If you see anything suspicious, call the police immediately.

We are here to help, but as we have said before, we can't do it alone. Please call us any time you see anything unusual.

 

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CHILD SAFETY

  • Remember to review safety practices for children who may be home alone after school.
  • Have emergency phone numbers available for children at home and teach them how and when to call for help.
  • Teach all children that strangers are dangerous, and that if anyone attempts to approach them they should remember to use the three R's for safety:
  1. R--Recognize that there is a dangerous situation
  2. R--Resist the situation - RUN, SCREAM, MAKE NOISE
  3. R--Report what happened to an adult you trust (parents, teachers, police officers)

Children are our most valuable asset, lets keep them safe!

 

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Domestic violence can range from verbal abuse to homicide.  It crosses all boundaries of race, religion, age and economic levels.  YES, we have domestic violence here in Glen Rock, the problem is just as bad here as anywhere else.  In fact, you are more likely to be assaulted by a family or household member than you are a stranger in the street. 

Domestic violence follows a pattern.  Stress is allowed to escalate.  It results in a violent incident.  The violence is followed by a period of apology and romantic intimacy. 

  • Survivors of domestic violence often report that abuse was present during their dating relationship.

  • Alcohol or drug use is often cited as an excuse for violent behavior

  • The New Jersey “Prevention of Domestic Violence Act” (1982) declares that domestic violence is a SERIOUS CRIME.

Help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

  • Emergency Call 9-1-1

  • Alternatives to Domestic Violence Confidential HOTLINE:  (201) 336-7575

Domestic Violence Restraining Orders:

  • You have the right to go to the Superior Court, Family Part at the County Court house in Hackensack and file a complaint requesting relief.  For example, this may be for an order restraining your attacker from abusing you, or directing your attacker to leave your household. You may request that the clerk of the court assist you in applying for this order.  If your attacker violates the term of an existing order, it can be enforced.  You also have the right to go to the Municipal Court and file a criminal complaint. 

  • On weekends, holidays, and other times when the courts are closed, the Police can assist you in obtaining an emergency after hours restraining order from the Judge of the Municipal Court.

For More Information Click on the Links Below:

                                                                                                                 

 

 

 

                                                   

 

 

 

TRADE SAFELY ON E-BAY 

  •       E-Bay users are strongly discouraged from using instant cash transfer services such as Money Gram or Western Union . Bidders should be especially cautious if one or both of these are the only payment methods accepted by the seller. Potential bidders should read E-Bay’s safe buying tips before bidding on any item.  For more information about bidding safely on E-Bay click here

 

Bicycle parking - cyclist tips 2.

PROTECT YOUR BICYCLE: 

Bicycle owners are urged to ensure that their bikes are securely locked to a fixed object anytime they are left unattended. 

 

Auto Burglary Prevention: Broken window and hammer with internationl "not" sign

For information on how to protect your car click on CRIME TIPS.

Remember:  Always Lock Your Car.

 

 

           

 

Learn more about the how the Glen Rock Police Department keeps the students of Glen Rock safe.

 

  • NEWS & UPDATES

The latest in news, reminders, alerts, updates, and press releases of recent crimes or events concerning the police department are detailed here.  This section also provides the police department a means to keep you informed, and also a way to ask for your help to solve a crime or other incidents.

 

  • FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

The answers to your most frequently asked questions may be found here.  Questions range from what number do I call if it is NOT an emergency and can I park my car on the street overnight, to how to obtain a police report and what do I do if my car has been impounded.

 

  • OVERNIGHT PARKING

Parking on the street, or in the municipal lots (metered, resident commuter or shopper, etc.) is prohibited between the hours of 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. In the event of an overnight guest, disabled vehicle or other similar circumstance, permission for a one night exemption may be granted by calling (201) 652-3800 and following the voice prompts to speak with a dispatcher about overnight parking. 

NOTE: In the event of snow, when roads may need to be sanded or plowed, there will be no overnight exemptions allowed. 

 

  • ALARM REGISTRATION

Questions regarding the Borough of Glen Rock's Alarm Ordinance are detailed in this section along with registration forms and other answers to frequently asked questions.

 

  • CRIME TIPS

What are the most common crimes committed in Glen Rock?  Identity Fraud, Burglary, Theft, and Domestic Violence.  This section advises on how to protect yourself and your loved ones.

 

  • IDENTITY THEFT

Identity Theft has a wide spread problem.  This section informs you on what to do if you feel that you have been a victim of Identity Theft and how to protect yourself.

 

  • ANIMAL ISSUES

Do you need assistance with a stray dog in the neighborhood or have a wild animal on your property that may be sick?  This section touches on who you should call for help on these and other matters.

 

  • Licenses, Permits, and Parking Questions

This section explains how to obtain resident parking permits and where to park your car.  If you are not a Glen Rock resident and wish to use the commuter parking facilities, please review this section for cost information, where to park, and the process in which to do so. 

 Landfill Permits and Soliciting Permits are also detailed here.

 

  • Juvenile Issues

The Glen Rock Police Department, The Glen Rock Board of Education, and the Officials of Academy of Our Lady work closely to ensure the safety and well being of the children who attend school in Glen Rock.  This section details the many programs offered and in effect to instruct and protect the students.

 

  • Quality of Life Issues

The State of New Jersey empowers local municipalities to enact laws intended to preserve the quality of life.  These laws are called "ordinances" and are passed by the Borough Mayor and Council based upon the needs of the community.  This section contains information explaining these ordinances and how they are enforced.

 

  • DISCOVERY

For Attorney use: Officer Certifications and Foundational Documentation.  Municipal Court Cases ONLY!

 

  • EMPLOYEE E-MAIL ACCESS

RESTRICTED TO POLICE PERSONNEL