TIS' THE SEASON FOR PACKAGE THIEVES (2017/12/05)

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A number of people in the Quad Cities area have had packages delivered to their front doors stolen. Here are a few tips on how to avoid this happening to you:
1. Track your package and be there when it is delivered.
2. If you can't be there, consider having your packages shipped to another location like your workplace.
3. Ask for signature delivery, that is, request a delivery confirmation signature when packages are delivered.
4. Install a security camera at your front door (real or fake). The presence of a camera will be a deterrent for would-be thieves.
5. If you frequently order on-line, consider installing a lockbox.
6. Watch out for each other! If you see suspicious activity in your neighborhood call police!


BE SMART, BE SAFE THIS HOLIDAY SEASON (2017/12/04)

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Here are some tips on how to celebrate safely this holiday season from DC Metro Police Department:

If You Are Traveling

  • Get an automatic timer for your lights.
  • Ask a neighbor to watch your home, shovel snow, and park in the driveway from time to time.
  • Don't forget to have mail and newspaper delivery stopped. If it piles up, it's a sure sign you're gone.

If You Are Out for the Evening

  • Turn on lights and a radio or TV so it looks like someone's home.
  • Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave, even if it's just for a few minutes.
  • Don't display gifts where they can be seen from outside.

If You Are Shopping

  • Stay alert and be aware of what's going on around you.
  • Park in a well-lighted space, and be sure to lock the car, close the windows, and hide shopping bags and gifts in the trunk.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash; pay with a check or credit card whenever possible.
  • Deter pickpockets and purse-snatchers. Don't overburden yourself with packages. Be extra careful with purses and wallets. Carry a purse close to your body, not dangling by the straps. Put a wallet in an inside coat or front pants pocket.
  • Shopping with kids? Teach them to go to a store clerk or security guard if you get separated.

Protect Your Vehicle

  • Loading up on all those gifts is a sign of progress in the holiday shopping. But if those packages are left out in the open after they're in the car, your car has become a likely target for thieves. Remember the old cliché "Out of sight, out of mind?" The same idea applies to items in your car.
  • Always lock your vehicle and store all items out of sight. Breaking into an empty car isn't worth a thief's time. However, anything left in plain view—from your holiday gifts to spare change, sunglasses, CDs, cell phones or briefcases—may tempt a thief.
  • Help prevent your vehicle from being stolen by always locking your car and using anti-theft devices. And although it's cold, never leave your vehicle running while you run inside your home or a store—even if for only a minute or two.

If a Stranger Comes to the Door

  • Criminals sometimes pose as couriers delivering gifts, so be cautious when accepting a package.
  • I's not uncommon for people to try to take advantage of others' generosity during the holidays by going door-to-door for charitable donations when there's no charity involved. Ask for identification, and find out how the funds will be used. If you aren't satisfied, don't give. Help a charitable organization you know and like instead.

After You've Opened the Gifts

Burglars know that many households have new, and oftentimes expensive, items in their homes following the December holidays—especially items such as new computers and peripherals, stereo components, televisions, cameras and other electronic equipment. In too many cases, residents make it easy for burglars to figure out which homes to target by putting boxes that identify their new gifts in plain view with their other garbage. Avoid becoming an easy target for post-holiday burglars by not leaving boxes for new electronics and other items in the alley or other garbage pick-up locations for several days at a time. Instead, break down any boxes you are throwing out, put them in garbage bags and place them inside a trash can. (In many cases, especially with computer equipment, you might consider keeping the boxes for safe storage, shipping or moving in the future.) Think about keeping broken-down boxes inside—in a garage, for example—until the evening before your regular garbage pick-up. Some burglars actually look inside garbage cans for evidence of holiday gifts. And, of course, if you see someone suspicious casing your alley or if you see a burglary in progress, call police or 911.

Take a Holiday Inventory

  • The holidays are a good time to update—or create—your home inventory. Take photos or make videos of items, and list descriptions and serial numbers. If your home is burglarized, having a detailed inventory can help identify stolen items and make insurance claims easier to file.
  • Make sure things like TVs, VCRs, stereo equipment, cameras, camcorders, sports equipment, jewelry, silver, computers, home office equipment and power tools are on the list. Remember to check it twice!

Celebrate Responsibly
The holiday season is a time of celebration and revelry. Drinking and driving is a danger to everyone on the road. Anyone with a BAC of .08 or higher is in violation of DC law and may go to jail. Remember that the risk isn't worth it—if you choose to drink alcohol at a party, don't drive. Take a cab, use public transportation or a designated driver, or call SoberRide® (800-200-TAXI), a free cab service in DC and the surrounding area active from the middle of December through January 1. Have fun, but remember to celebrate responsibly.



PREVENT CREDIT CARD FRAUD - from Thebalance.com (2017/12/03)

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Keep your credit cards safe.

One of the simplest ways to avoid credit card fraud is by keeping your credit cards safe from thieves. Place your credit cards in a purse or wallet close to your body where it can't easily be snatched away.

Ladies, make sure your purse is zipped. If you're shopping in a high traffic area, carry a smaller purse because it's harder to steal or sneak into. For both men and women, carry only the one or two credit and debit cards you'll be using that day. Leave all your other credit cards at home.

Thieves can take pictures of your credit card with a camera or cell phone, so don't leave your credit card exposed any longer than necessary.

After you make a purchase put your credit card away immediately. Confirm you have your credit card back in your possession before you leave the store or restaurant.

Shred anything with your credit card number on it.

Don't toss your credit card billing statements directly into the trash - they typically have your full credit card number printed on time. Shred them to keep dumpster divers from getting their hands on your credit card number. The same thing applies to old credit cards that have expired or been cancelled.

You can go a step further and put the shredded pieces in different trash bags for the extra eager thieves who might put shredded pages back together.

eager thieves who might put shredded pages back together.

Don't sign blank credit card receipts.

Always verify the amount on your credit card receipt before signing it. If you get a credit card receipt that has blank spaces in it, write $0 in those spaces or draw through them before putting your signature on the card. Otherwise, the cashier could write in an amount and send the purchase to your credit card issuer.

Avoid giving out your credit card information.

Only give your credit card number or other sensitive information on calls you initiate. Not only that, when you call your credit card issuer's customer service, use the number on the back of your credit card. Don't return calls to a phone number left on your answering machine or sent to you in an email or text message. It's hard to be sure a scammer hasn't left a fake number for you to call.

Don't give your credit card number to anyone who calls you requesting the number. Credit card thieves have been known to pose as credit card issuers and other businesses to trick you into giving out your credit card number.

Be safe with your credit card online.

Don't click on email links from anyone that looks like your bank, credit card company, or other business who uses your personal information, even if the email looks legitimate. These links are often phishing scams and the scammers want to trick you into entering your login information on their fake website. Instead, go directly to that business's website to logon to your account.

Make sure you're cautious when you're using your credit card online. Only enter your credit card number on secure websites that you can be 100% sure are legitimate. To be sure a website is secure, look for https:// in the address bar and lock in the lower right corner of your internet browser. Taking these extra steps will help you avoid credit card fraud.

Report lost or stolen credit cards immediately.

The sooner you report a missing credit card the sooner your credit card issuer can cancel your credit card and prevent fraudulent charges. Reporting your lost or stolen credit card as soon as possible lowers the likelihood that you'll have to pay for any fraudulent charges made on your credit card. Write down your credit card companies' customer service number now so you'll have them if your credit cards are ever missing.

number now so you'll have them if your credit cards are ever missing.

Review your billing statements each month.

Unauthorized charges on your credit card are the first sign of credit card fraud. If you notice a charge you didn't make, no matter how small, report the charge to your credit card issuer immediately. Your credit card issuer will tell you whether you should close your account and get a new account number to avoid credit card fraud.

Make strong passwords and keep them safe.

Your credit card number may be stored in a number of places online. For example, you may save your credit card on Amazon so you can make one-click purchases. Make sure you use strong passwords - a combination of upper- and lower-case characters, numbers, and even characters - and avoid writing or sharing your password.

Check gas stations and ATMs for credit card skimmers.

Credit card thieves sometimes place credit card skimming devices onto the credit card readers at gas pumps or ATMs. These skimmers capture and store your credit card information and credit card thieves come back later to get the device. Skimmers are placed over the regular credit card swipe, so if anything looks off about the place you're swiping your credit card, go to another gas station or ATM.



PREVENT BURGLARY: MAKE THE 9 PM ROUTINE YOUR HABIT (2017/09/05)

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The Moline Police Department is joining a nationwide social media campaign known as #9PMRoutine which reminds everyone to lock your vehicles, secure your valuables and lock your residences at 9 pm each evening.

This year the Moline Police Department has received 153 reports of burglary to motor vehicles and in 145 of the incidents the vehicles were unlocked when they were burglarized.

The Moline Police Department would like to remind everyone to secure your valuables in your home and do not leave them unattended in a vehicle.

The Moline Police Department reminds everyone to remove firearms from their vehicles and secure them inside the residences, never leaving them unattended in a vehicle. There are several incidents each year in which firearms are stolen from unlocked vehicles, those firearms are then often used in crimes.

By joining in the #9PMRoutine, you lock your vehicles each night, secure your valuables and lock your residence prior to going to bed. In doing so, we eliminate the opportunity for burglars who often seek easy, unlocked targets.

So please join us in our campaign to eliminate opportunities for burglars and complete the 9 pm routine.

The Moline Police Department will provide updates via social media to remind everyone to participate. Look for us on Facebook at Moline Police Department and on Twitter @MolinePolice. 



PHONE SCAMMERS TARGET OLDER CITIZENS BE INFORMED. DON'T FALL FOR IT! (2015/04/06)

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We have been receiving numerous reports of citizens receiving calls allegedly from the IRS demanding payment of past taxes.  These scammers are threatening to call police and have citizens arrested if they do not make payment.  PLEASE DO NOT GIVE THEM ANY MONEY.  THIS IS A SCAM!  The IRS will never do business in this manner.  For more information on these scams click here.

GRANDPARENT SCAM (2014/03/25)

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Crime Stoppers has received two calls this week from older citizens of the Quad Citeis who were nearly scammed. The scammer calls claiming to be or claiming to represent the victim's grandchild who has allegedly gotten into some sort of trouble out of town or out of the country. The scammer then asks the victim to wire money to help that grandchild. If you receive a call like this, DO NOT wire money without verifying the truth of the claim being made. it was because of the astute awareness of a Western Union employee in the Quad Cities that one of the victims was rescued from losing $1,400. Read this article for more information about this type of scam. If you received one of these types of calls, you can report it by clicking here. 

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