Prepaid Debit Card Scams

Police Department’s throughout the country are getting reports of various scams. Some potential victim’s immediately realize something seems awry; while other people fall victim and lose hundreds or even thousands of dollars. The victims come from all walks of life, income and education levels. The suspects usually rely on appealing to someone’s greed or the victim’s emotions by claiming a family member is in dire need. more

Lottery Scams

Like many Police Departments in New Jersey and across the nation, the North Plainfield Police Department has received multiple reports from borough residents of an international scam in recent months. Typically a resident receives a letter that appears to contain official documents. The outside envelope may be marked “Official”; “Certified Prize Claim”; “Documented Winner’s Letter”, or some other official sounding name. more

Avoiding Phone Scams

Like many Police Departments in New Jersey and across the nation, the North Plainfield Police Department has received multiple reports from borough residents of a relatively new scam in recent months. Typically a senior citizen will receive a call from a young man or woman claiming to be their grandchild in desperate need of money. Various stories are told of being under arrest and needing bail money; of losing all identification and needing money to purchase airline tickets home from a foreign country; or even needing financial assistance for an emergency medical procedure. Another variation is for the caller to say they are a friend or roommate of the grandchild making the call because the grandchild is hospitalized or incarcerated. more

Avoiding Scams & Protecting Property

With the warm weather of summer, Police Departments in Central New Jersey often see a spike in the number and frequency of “scams” and “thefts of opportunity”.  Scams can be defined as criminal trickery used to separate victims from their money and/or property.  However, many could be avoided if the victim remembered the old adage: if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Or as the comedian W. C. Fields used to say: you can’t cheat an honest man.  The most commonly investigated scams fall into three varieties: distraction burglaries; home improvement deceptions and “pigeon drops”.  These crimes are usually carried out by experienced criminals and often targeted at specific segments of society. more

Preventing Automobile Theft

According to the FBI, (Federal Bureau of Investigation), Uniform Crime Reports, a motor vehicle is stolen in the United States every 26.4 seconds; that’s 2,880 cars a day, or over one million a year.  The reasons for automobile theft include:  The resale value of the car, often overseas, or for its parts, which can generate much greater profit margins. They may also be taken for no cost transportation.  Finally cars are also stolen to facilitate the completion of other more sinister crimes such as robberies and burglaries. While it may be impossible to completely eliminate the possibility of automobile theft, there are things you can do to decrease the chance of your car being stolen.  Many are no cost practices that can be incorporated into your daily routine.  Others are more expensive and owners should conduct a cost/benefit analysis before committing to the expenditure. more

Preventing Theft of Valuables from your Automobile

When parking your car in the warm weather of summer, don’t be tempted to leave the car windows down; if the windows are down, the door locks don’t do anything.   Police Departments across New Jersey are inundated with reports of the theft of valuable items from the inside of cars. These incidents take place on the street; in the parking lots of businesses, shopping malls, schools, parks, apartment building; and private driveways.  Several years ago the most commonly reported stolen items were car radios and radar detectors. more

Crime Prevention during Holiday Shopping

The holidays are among the busiest days for merchants and shoppers alike. In your haste to fill wish lists and take advantage of clearance sales, you should take several precautions to avoid becoming the victim of an identity theft. First consider all of your personal numeric identifiers private precious data. In order to guard against fraud some merchants still request social security or driver’s license numbers. Advise them you prefer not to, most merchants understand. Still others will ask for a phone number, that can lead to unwanted phone solicitations, or someone determining your address using a reverse directory data base. more

Crime Prevention at Work

Crimes can occur at your place of employment just as easily as they can on the street, in your neighborhood, or home.  In fact many people let their guard down at work, leaving their possessions more available to people who would not think twice about helping themselves to another person’s property.  However there are certain things we can all do to make our work places safer and our possessions more more

Crime Prevention at the ATM Machine

The use of automatic teller machines is as common as making phone calls on cell phones. There are certain steps that can be taken with ATM cards to minimize risk and improve safety. more

Avoiding Bicycle Theft

When the weather warms up bicycles come out of the cellar, garage and porches for transportation and recreation.  They also become the target of thieves.  Bicycles are often ridden away and abandoned.  Bicycles provide a cheap, (stolen), means of transportation. They may also be targeted by more sophisticated thieves that are always on the lookout for an expensive model which can be easily sold for cash. more

Bicycle Helmet Safety

As the weather gets warn, both young and old will be getting bikes out of storage;  dusting them off; pumping up tires; and lubricating chains.  Bicycles are environmentally clean and an enjoyable form of exercise; they can be used for transportation or recreation.  However bicycles are not without risk.  According to a position statement of the American Academy of Pediatrics, (February of 2007), there were approximately 430,000 Emergency Room visits for children under 21 due to bicycle accidents in 1998.  The statement also indicates in 1998 an estimated 23,000 children under 21 sustained head injuries from bike accidents and another 275 children under the age of 21 died in bike accidents.

What is the single most important thing a parent can do?  HAVE YOUR CHILDREN WEAR HELMETS WHEN BIKE RIDING. more

Bicycle Safety Roundup

In two other articles we reviewed bicycle theft and the importance of wearing a helmet.    To finish the series, we will review road placement when riding a bicycle and the use of accessories.

First, when riding a bicycle on a public roadway it is required by Title 39, New Jersey Motor Vehicle and Traffic law that the cyclist “keep right” and ride with the flow of traffic.  The law also specifies that the cyclist ride “as far to the right as is practicable”.  This exposes the cyclist to some hazards, but in general cyclists fare best when they act and are treated as drivers of vehicles.  Bicyclists must always maintain a mind set of riding defensively.  One hazard is that of parked vehicles and the opening of car doors into the lane of traffic.  The cyclist must be aware of occupied parked vehicles and the potential of an opening door.  While riding as far right as practicable, traffic crossing the cyclist path may not see the cyclist, so the cyclist must ride defensibly and react to vehicles or pedestrians crossing his or her path.  Cyclist must also be aware of traffic next to and behind them at all times in case of a need to change lanes due to obstructions in their line of travel. more

Summer Vacation

With the closing of school in the next several weeks we will be in the midst of the summer vacation and travel season.   Travel will take place by plane, train, and automobile. The family summer vacation by car is a popular part of our culture.  Prior to embarking on your vacation, near or far, no matter what the means of conveyance, take time to plan your journey and implement common sense safety precautions. more

Halloween Safety

This year, when planning your Halloween celebration, consider the age and maturity level of your children when deciding what activity you will allow them to participate in.  Obviously young children need to be accompanied by an adult, but so do may pre-teens and teenagers that are less mature.  If you do allow a teen to participate in Halloween fun with out you, make sure you know who he or she will be with.  Ask yourself:  Do I know that friend?; is that friend a leader or follower?; does he or she make sound decisions?; are they prone to horseplay?.  Remember a good kid can go off the straight and narrow when in the company of others teens that may make poor decisions. more

Children, Automobile Safety and School

The safety of children in and around automobiles is the concern of all parents, and as children come of school age it also becomes a priority of school administrators and local police departments.  From the beginning children should be secured in approved child safety seats, it’s the law in nearly all states, including New Jersey.  Recently Consumer Reports did a review of child safety seats in the February and October 2007 editions of the monthly publication.  If you are in the market to purchase one, you may want to review the articles for recommendations. more

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