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Crime Tips & Prevention

ATM Safety- Safe guarding your bank identity.

  • Protect your personal identification number (PIN).
  • Do not write it on the back of your card.
  • Stand directly in front of the ATM when entering the number – so no one can look over your shoulder.
  • Money should be put away as soon as you withdraw it from the ATM.
  • Do not stand and count your money, conceal it immediately.
  • Do not openly carry it to the ATM or night deposit.
  • Be ready to conduct transactions before approaching the ATM or night deposit.
  • Conduct business quickly – do not loiter in the vicinity.
  • Use a well-lighted ATM or night deposit.
  • Be observant.
  • Try to have someone with you when you’re banking at night.
  • Be cautious of anyone who is lingering around the ATM or night deposit.
  • Caution should be exercised when going to and from your bank.
  • Stay alert.
  • Do not display cash or checks, keep them concealed in your purse or pocket.
  • Be cautious of strangers.
  • Make sure to take your receipt from the ATM machine.

Keep an eye on your cards!!!!

Skimming theft- Credit card skimming is one of the most dangerous and rampant forms of credit card fraud today. Identity thieves have hand held magnetic card readers that can be purchased on the internet or improvised to glean personal information off the magnetic strip on credit and debit cards. Data s transferred to other magnetic strips to make counterfeit credit cards. The thieves have been waiters, gas station attendants, and store clerks. Even private automatic teller machines can be rigged to skim account numbers and PIN’s.

To protect your credit/debit cards:
Keep an eye on the ATM or credit card. Avoid letting waiters, sales clerks, or gas station attendants disappear from view with your credit/debit card, to avoid “skimming”. A hand-held electronic device can be used to cop data. Consider using cash.

Make sure no one is looking over your shoulder when using your card. In this day of electronic gadgets, a cellular phone with photo capabilities can take a picture of your card to make a duplicate.

Protect yourself from physical attack!!!!

Do you ever have the feeling you are being watched when you are shopping or jogging? Statistics suggest that no one is immune to crime. The odds are four out of five that you will be a victim of violence whether a simple assault or armed robbery. The odds can be changed.

Here are some basic steps to ensure your safety:

  • Be alert and aware of your surroundings.
  • Know who is near you and what is taking place.
  • Avoid high crime areas.
  • Don’t let alcohol or drugs cloud your judgement.
  • Trust your instincts, if you feel uneasy, leave.

Safety tips for walking:

  • Avoid walking alone
  • Walk confidently, directly, and at a steady pace, do not appear afraid or lost
  • Avoid walking at night. If you must, stay in a well-lighted area
  • Stick to well-traveled streets, avoid shortcuts
  • Don’t wear shoes or clothing that restrict your movements
  • Don’t show money or other items like expensive jewelry/clothing
  • Carry your purse close to your body. Put your wallet in an inside coat or front pants pocket
  • If you believe someone is following you, switch directions or cross the street. Walk toward an open business or lighted house
  • Never accept rides from strangers
  • Be careful when giving directions to pedestrians or motorists. Keep a safe distance to avoid getting grabbed or dragged into an automobile

Home protection, studies show that burglars will spend no longer than 60 seconds trying to break into a home. By investing just a little time and money, you can discourage a burglar.

Privacy fencing is a disadvantage to home security. To eliminate this disadvantage:

  • Remove every other slat to allow greater visibility
  • Plant hostile- type thorny plants to cover the fence
  • Pad lock your fence gate

Home security depends on good visibility. Plants should be kept trimmed, especially around doors and windows, where someone could hide.

One of the best sources of cost-effective protection around your home is exterior lighting. An inexpensive timer or photoelectric cell will automatically turn the lights on at dusk and off at dawn.

Investing in inexpensive landscape lighting will not only provide light to hidden areas and serve as path lighting for visitors, it is also an attractive land scaping feature.

Exterior doors:
Install a wide-angle viewer (peephole) in the door. This will let you know who is at the door. A 180-degree view peephole is recommended.

Not only your front door, but all exterior doors and the door between the house and garage should be of solid core construction or heavy gauge metal with a minimum thickness of 1 and 3/8 inches.

Are your French doors secure? One of the doors must be inactive. You can accomplish this by installing flush bolts at the top and bottom of the door secured into metal strike plates. A dead bolt should secure the active door.

Discourage entry through sliding glass doors by placing a pin in the top and bottom to keep them from being pried out of their track.

Install supplementary locks on all moving windows. Also, pinning a window shut reduces the chances of it being pried open. Drill a hole at a slightly downward angle through both the movable and fixed window frames and then place pin, nail or eyebolt in the hole to accomplish this. The nail is to be used as a removable sliding pin not hammered in! Remember to allow easy removal for safety. Other methods include a tight-fitting dowel in the track of the window or adding thumb screw locks. The use of key-operated locks and bars on windows is discouraged because it can hinder the escape of a family.

Strike plates:
A strike plate should be installed with at least 3 inch wood screw. Better yet, install a heavier gauge security strike plate, using longer screws to pass through the door frame into the structural 2x4 framing.

Old-fashioned lock in the knob type locks offer you privacy and convenience but not security. In fact, simply using a credit card or screwdriver can open many locks. A dead bolt lock is recommended with the following features:

A single cylinder with a rotating cylinder guard
A minimum 1 inch bolt
A five pin tumbler

Securing garage doors is difficult you can help secure them by:

Keeping garage doors closed and locked at all times
Covering windows to prevent people from viewing inside. Mirrored film on your windows allows you to see out, but prevents others from seeing in without some difficulty.
Replacing your door with a windowless metal garage door
Using a dead bolt lock just like your exterior doors

If you are a victim:
If your home is robbed or property is stolen or damaged, report it immediately. The investigating deputy will collect evidence and prepare a report. You will be asked to take an inventory to determine what was taken. Avoid touching or disturbing anything until the deputy has arrived.

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