Bus, Taxi, Train or Subway:
- Use schedules to minimize time waiting at bus stops
- Sit near the front of the bus, if possible
- Keep possessions in lap
- Pay attention to surroundings. If you feel threatened, tell the driver.
- Avoid sleeping, cleaning out purse or pockets, balancing checkbook, etc. If you read, look up periodically.
- Only ask the driver for directions
- While waiting for a subway or train, wait near the ticket booth until you board.
- Do not enter an empty car or elevator; choose one that has several other people in it.
- Keep plenty of gas in the tank and try to avoid using self-service gas stations at night
- Have your key ready
- Ask the driver to watch to make sure you make it inside your home safely.
- Stay with your luggage at all times
- Keep tickets out of sight, they can be as valuable as cash
- Watch out for staged situations such as someone bumping into you. It may be a diversion for criminal activity
- Do not let others see expensive jewelry, cameras, or anything that someone would want to take
The Law: Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations require the following:
- In the beginning of a telemarketing call, the caller must identify the Company’s name, and, if it’s a sales call, what is being sold.
- If a prize is offered, you have to be told immediately that no purchase or payment is necessary to win.
- You must not be asked to pay in advance for services. Pay for services only after they are actually delivered.
- You must not be called before 8:00 am and after 9:00 pm, your local time.
- You must not be called repeatedly or be intimidated by the caller.
- You must be told the costs and restrictions before you pay for products or services.
Avoid Telemarketing Scams:
- Don’t talk to them
- Get an answering machine
- Get Caller ID
- Never give money over the phone
- If you want to give to a charity, seek them out yourself
- Report it! The most courageou thing an adult can do is to admit to being a victim of a crime. 99% of the criminals are caught committing another crime.
- If your social security number is on your driver’s license have it removed
- Avoid having a bank debit card. Your money comes directly out of your checking account, which makes any discrepancy harder to prove.
Con artists are rarely violent. They don’t need to be. “Con” is short for “confidence” – which is then used to get your money. Once you’ve been a victim of a telemarketer you’ve not only lost money, but possibly your pride, health, faith, and self-esteem.
Victims feel violated, frightened, and embarrassed. Some are left with thoughts of suicide. It is a myth to believe that only lonely isolated seniors are targeted. These criminals have stolen from doctors, lawyers, and Admirals. They are all victims. Some of the consumer frauds, gimmicks, and con games to be aware of are:
- Business Schemes
- Home Repairs
- Insurance Fraud
- Medical Fraud
- Property Scams
- Debt Consolidation
- Bank Scams
Signs of Fraud:
- Must pay to win
- Must decide now
- Pressure you for a credit card number
- Instruct you not to tell anyone
- Tell you that this initial investment will be well worth it
- An address suite could just be a post office box
To protect yourself from other forms of fraud:
- Never sign a contract without having a lawyer or family member read it first
- Follow up on any unpaid bills accrued by a deceased spouse. They could be phony.
Small Business Security Tips
- Non-employees should not be allowed past the reception area without notice to co-workers by phone or intercom. Guests/clients should wait up front for their escort.
- After business is concluded guests/clients should be escorted out
- Question anyone that is unescorted past the reception or designated area
- An intruder will give you a quick answer and walk away
- Do not try to restrain but write down a description and follow office policy
- Theft should be reported immediately to the police
- Keep all personal belongings out of sight and in a locked drawer if possible
- Leave cash registers empty and open after hours to deter burglars
- Make sure all exterior doors have adequate locking mechanisms or install a secondary lock, i.e. dead-bolt locks
- Leave an interior light on all night
- Check interior for possible access to the roof and secure all ladders and garbage dumpsters
- Use exterior lighting to increase the visibility in parking lots and entrances
- Move valuable merchandise away from the door or windows to prevent smash and grab thefts
- Install a safe or strong security cabinet to store valuable documents or keys used in your business
- Install an enunciator on entrances to alert you that a customer has entered
- Don’t tag your keys with the name of your business. Change locks if keys are lost or not returned by a former employee
- Don’t open the door until you are fully ready to do business, and don’t count receipts until you lock up
- Never resist an armed robber
- Call 9-1-1 for all medical, fire and police emergencies, and anytime you believe there is a need to send police, fire or medical personnel to the scene.
- Overgrown bushes and trees give a thief the luxury of hiding places. Keep trimmed and away from door and windows