Preventing Crime

Newsletters from the Department
Fraud-Related Crimes
Published on May 30, 2011 by ecso
Don't Get Conned
A con artist can invade your home by telephone or in person. The are smart, persuasive, and aggressive. Most people feel they are too smart be taken by a con artist. But the truth is anyone can fall prey.

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Consumer Fraud
Never provide personal information such as; credit card accounts, phone card numbers, Social Security numbers or bank account numbers. By law they are not allowed to ask for these numbers to verify a prize or gift.

Beware of requests to call 900 telephone numbers to obtain instant credit. These calls can end up costing $50 or more and the consumer often ends up with a booklet on how to establish credit or a list of banks offering low interest credit cards.

Beware of sound-alike names. Listen very carefully to the names of charities or other companies requesting your money. Some may use names, which sound similar to well-known organizations such as Make a Wish Association (instead of Make a Wish Foundation.)

Beware of any request to pay money or call a 900-phone number to request confirmation or to collect a prize.

Ask for a financial report before you donate; a reputable charity will send you one.

Never make an investment with a stranger until you investigate. Beware of any promises, which indicate that you will get rich quick or they have a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Stay clear of health products or treatments which promise a quick and dramatic cure, vague or non-medical terminology, appeal to your emotions instead of reason or any single product that cures many ills. Bogus treatments can delay an ill person from obtaining timely treatment.

Con artist frequently use the mail to send official-looking documents or forms. You are not under any obligation to pay for any items you received in the mail that you did not order. So you are free to throw them out, send them back or keep them.

Beware of any claims or promises to earn quick cash from your home. Many of these are nothing more that how-to books to get started.

Beware low cost home improvement work that sounds under budget. They may claim they are doing other work for your neighbor and can give you a great deal. They may use sub-standard materials, use untrained workers, only complete part of the job or take your money and run.

Use common sense when dealing with auto or home repairs. A good con artist will use fear to convince you of needed repairs. Have a second opinion, get a written estimate and read it carefully. Never give a repairperson a blank check to "fix everything."

Classic Cons Jobs
The Bank Investigator A person posing as a bank official or government investigator asks you for help in catching a dishonest bank employee. They ask you to withdraw money from your account turn it over to them so the serial numbers can be checked or the money marked. They convince you that the money will be re-deposited back in your account and you guessed it you never see your money again.

The Lottery Scam The con artist tells you they won a large amount of money in the lottery or a contest. They tell convince you they are unable to claim their winnings and tell you they will split it with you if you put up a "good faith" deposit. You turn over the cash and you never see them or your money again.

The Pyramid Scheme You are offered an opportunity to invest in a new company with a guaranteed high return. You are told that all you have to do is invest, and recruit others to do the same. You in turn receive a share of each investment you recruit. Eventually the pyramid collapses and everyone ends up losing-except the person at the top.

Telemarketing Fraud
Federal Government's Telemarketing Sales Rules:
-- You must be told the name of the company. The nature of the call (sales, survey, contest etc.)
-- If it is a sales call the product or service being sold.
-- If it is a contest, they must tell you that there is no purchase necessary to win.
-- If you are told that you have won a prize, you cannot be asked to pay anything for it. (Not even shipping charges!)
-- If it is a sweepstakes, they must tell you how to enter without making a purchase.
-- You cannot be asked to pay in advance for services such as credit repair, obtaining a loan or receiving a prize they state you have won. You only pay for services if they're actually delivered.
-- If you are guaranteed a refund, they must tell you all the limitations if any.
-- They should not call before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. Once you have advised the telemarketer not to call again, they can't. If they do they have broken the law.

The best protection from telemarketing fraud is to hang up the phone. Tell the caller you are not interested, you don't want to waist their time or yours and not to call back.

Never give your personal information such as Social Security numbers, credit card or bank account numbers or authorize a bank draft.

Cons in Cyberspace
Con artist use the same scams over the Internet that they have been using for years. Only now they have an unlimited number of unsuspecting victims to exploit.
-- Internet related products or services that are not delivered or lower quality than promised.
-- Business opportunities or franchises, which are presented as more profitable than they really are.
-- Work-at-home schemes where individuals are required to invest money in start-up services but they never earn enough money to recover their initial investment.

Protecting yourself in Cyberspace
-- Shop with companies you know. If you are unfamiliar with a company ask them to mail you a print catalog before you decide to purchase electronically.
-- Use a browser that supports a secure server that will encrypt or scramble the submitted information. If you do not have the software to support this type of transaction, consider calling the merchants toll free number, faxing your order or paying by check.
-- Never give out your bank account number, Social Security number or other personal information that isn't absolutely necessary to complete the transaction
-- Never ever give out your Internet password. Even your online provider will not ask your for your password other than when you initially log-on. Change your password often.
-- Educate your children on Internet safety. Make sure they never give out their full name, address or phone number. Software can be installed which block access to sites which include obscene or hazardous content. In addition parents need to monitor their children's activity on the Internet as well.

What To Do If You Get Ripped Off
Report any fraudulent activity to the police, your local consumer protection office, the district attorney's office or your can contact the National Fraud Information Center at (800) 876-7060 or visit - www.fraud.org

Don't feel foolish. Reporting the incident is vital to investigate the complaint. Most victims do not report fraud, which leave the con artist free to rip off others.

If purchases are made with a credit card you have the right to dispute the charges with your credit card company.

ALERT!

No alerts at this time.

FOR
EMERGENCIES
DIAL 911

Yeadon Borough is part of the Delaware County 911 program. If you have a medical, police or fire emergency, dial 911.

Be sure to stay on the phoneline until you have answered all the emergency operator’s questions.  Be ready to give the operator your name and street address of where the emergency vehicles should go.

About

This web site is part of the Department's continuous improvement in serving the citizens of the community.

With this website, you'll be able to get information about the Yeadon PD quickly and easily. We are especially looking forward to publishing on a regular basis the police blotter. Also, you'll be able to get regular notices (for example, traffic alerts for parades, snow, etc.) from the Chief. We encourage you to sign up for regular e-mails about criminal activity in the area. And, we are instituting on the site an anonymous tip page, where we encourage you to come forward about crime you have witnessed.

Some of these features are still under construction, so please bear with us.

This website is made possible by the generosity of the Yeadon community.  The Department is especially indebted to local businesses who have made contributions.

This website DOES NOT collect any personal information unless you give it.