Phone scammers posing as police officers
The Dearborn Police Department has become aware of a scam involving people contacting victims by telephone claiming to be law enforcement or IRS agencies collecting debts.
The scammer will try to intimidate the victim by threatening to put him or her in jail if the money is not paid. The scammer will ask the victim to purchase pre-paid gift cards and provide the card information when he or she calls back. Usually, the victim has no knowledge of any debt.
In the recent cases the scammer falsely claims to be a police officer; however, the DPD does not solicit or collect money for unpaid tickets, fees, or any other debts over the phone or via email.
If you receive such a phone call, never give any personal
information to the caller. Always get a call back phone number and never send money to anyone you do not know.
The DPD advises if you feel you have been a victim of such a scam, contact the your local police department.
Larcenies from vehicles reported
The Dearborn Police Department has received reports of items being stolen from parked vehicles. Residents are asked to take steps to avoid becoming a victim of this crime of opportunity.
Department officials said residents should:
• Remember to keep your vehicle locked and windows rolled up even if the vehicle is parked in your driveway or in front of your home.
• Park your vehicle in your garage or in your driveway
• Do not leave valuables (GPS Units, MP3 Players, laptops, money, etc.) visible in your vehicle.
• Never leave any personal information in your vehicle such as the vehicle title, registration, or insurance.
• Residents should avoid leaving their vehicles running unattended even for a short period.
• Be aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts.
Dearborn residents can report all suspicious activity anonymously by calling 313-943-3030.
Cold weather crime prevention tips for vehicles
With the cold weather upon us it is important to remember the following crime prevention tips to protect your vehicle:
• Avoid leaving vehicles running unattended, even for a short period. With the cold weather you may be tempted to warm up your vehicle; if the vehicle is left unattended this is an excellent opportunity for a car thief to steal the vehicle. If you prefer you may install a remote starter in your vehicle. A remote starter is a relatively inexpensive option to warm up your vehicle safely.
• Keep vehicles locked and windows rolled up even if the vehicle is parked in your driveway or in front of your home.
• Do not leave valuables (GPS units, MP3 players, laptops, money, etc.) visible in your vehicle. If possible, remove all valuables from your vehicle.
• Never leave any personal information in your vehicle such as vehicle title, registration or insurance.
• Be aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts
• Report all suspicious activity anonymously to 313-943-3030.
Be aware of scam artists
“Scam artists” are criminals that often prey on senior citizens because these citizens are trusting, living alone, or have large sums of money available to them.
These types of scams may include home invasions, burglaries, robberies, thefts, confidence games, door-to-door, solicitors, home companion scams, or home repair frauds.
Many scams are often committed by well organized, transient criminals who evade identification and arrest by operating in various cities and towns under many different aliases. They often leave town before a crime has been discovered or reported.
A TYPICAL SCAM
One or two people make contact with a homeowner by ringing the doorbell or knocking on the door. They attempt to distract the homeowner and direct them toward the kitchen with deceptions such as:
• Faking an illness
• Posing as a utility worker
• Offering to complete home repairs
• Pretending to have a package to deliver
• Asking for paper or pen to leave a note for a neighbor
• Asking if the house is for sale
• Looking for a lost dog or cat
Once the homeowner is distracted, several unseen accomplices will enter the home and explore the house in search of jewelry or money. There is usually very little sign of ransacking since the accomplices go through the homeowner’s items very carefully taking only certain valuables and putting everything else back in its place.
After the suspects leave, the homeowner may not even realize that anything has been taken.
Another common scam occurs when a homeowner is approached
by one or more people and offers to conduct home repairs such as a new roof, cement repairs, at a very low cost. The con-artist will then convince the homeowner to pay for all or part of the repair up front in cash. Once the homeowner gives the money to the con-artist, the con-artist leaves the area and never returns to complete the home repairs.
QUICK TIPS CHECKLIST
• Use caution when dealing with strangers – even those who wear authentic looking uniforms and may have a reason for entering the house.
• Be suspicious of strangers offering to share found money or lottery winnings with you.
• Request and verify identification before letting somebody in your house.
• Check a company’s reputation with the Better Business
Bureau before conducting business with them.
• Request a written estimate for repair work. Also, get estimates from other companies before making any type of commitment.
• Do not invest hastily. Do not rush into a bargain. If it appears too good to be true, it usually is.
• Ask that you wish to discuss a contract with a lawyer before signing any documents.