THEFT and CREDIT CARD FRAUD
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.
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.
This is just a brief
overview. For more information on ID theft, check
out these resources from FCIC and on the World
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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.
- 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
- Memorize your pin numbers
or passwords; don't keep them in your wallet.
- Sign all new credit cards
- Report lost or stolen
credit cards immediately.
- Remove mail promptly from
your mailbox after delivery.
- Save all credit card
receipts and match them against your monthly
- Never loan your credit
- 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.
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,
- Experian Information
- TransUnion Credit Bureau,
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.
information on other popular consumer issues check
out FCIC's Consumer
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 email@example.com
Not to Get Hooked by a ‘Phishing’ Scam
scammers casting about for people’s financial information
have a new way to lure unsuspecting victims: They go “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
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you believe you’ve been scammed, file your complaint at
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.
to learn other ways to avoid email scams and deal with
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.
more information on protecting yourself from identity theft click
on the icon for the Identity Theft Resource Center.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION
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
Items Are Most Commonly Stolen from Vehicles?
What Steps Can I Take To Prevent Becoming a Victim?
This is what your
car looks like to a thief!
- 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 your vehicle and take your keys, even for quick
errands or in your driveway.
- Lock the trunk, hatchback or tailgate to block access into
- Close all windows, including vent or wing windows and
- At home, park in your
garage if you have one. Lock your car and all garage doors.
- Park in a
- Check to see that
your vehicle is visible from pedestrian and vehicular
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
- 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:
- R--Recognize that there is a dangerous
- R--Resist the situation - RUN, SCREAM,
- R--Report what happened to an adult you
trust (parents, teachers, police officers)
Children are our most valuable asset, lets
keep them safe!
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.
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
of domestic violence often report that abuse was present
during their dating relationship.
or drug use is often cited as an excuse for violent behavior
New Jersey “Prevention of Domestic Violence Act” (1982)
declares that domestic violence is a SERIOUS CRIME.
is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Violence Restraining Orders:
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.
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.
More Information Click on the Links Below:
SAFELY ON E-BAY
PROTECT YOUR BICYCLE:
Bicycle owners are urged to ensure that
their bikes are securely locked to a fixed object anytime they are left
information on how to protect your car click on
Always Lock Your Car.