18 Tip to Avoid Being a Crime Victim
- Safety in numbers - walk with a friend.
- Travel well lit, heavily used paths.
- Know your surroundings.
- Vary your routine: different routes, different times.
- Lock your doors and windows.
- Engrave your personal belongings - Operation I.D.
- Place identifiable marks on and in textbooks.
- Stay in the laundry room while doing laundry.
- Mark your laundry with permanent ink.
- Avoid excessive use of alcohol and do not use drugs.
- Lock your bike with a good quality lock.
- Report suspicious activity.
- Report all crimes; you may not be the only victim.
- Keep access numbers for money access cards separate from the cards themselves.
- Limit phone conversations with unknown callers.
- If victim of obscene phone call - hang up immediately.
- Do not loan out your calling card.
- Don't drink and drive.
ATM Safety Tips
Be Ready, Be Quick, Be Alert!! Robberies have been a problem at ATM's for some time. Here are some safety tips which make using the ATM's safer:
- If you drive to the ATM its best to lock your car when using the ATM. But, keep your keys handy so you can enter your car quickly after completing your transaction.
- Be alert for anything suspicious, especially two or more people in a nearby vehicle, particularly if no one else is at the ATM, or someone who just appears to be "hanging" around the area.
- If you sense something wrong, leave the area immediately and use another ATM.
- When waiting in line wait well behind the person or persons using the ATM.
- When you are using the ATM and someone is closer than you would like, ask them to step back a few steps. If they do not step back it may be best to cancel your transaction and wait in your locked car until that person leaves or go use another ATM.
- Have everything ready before you approach the ATM; have your card ready, know your code, fill out your deposit envelope before approaching the ATM.
- Do NOT write your code on your ATM card. Keep your code secret. If needed, check the code before approaching the ATM.
- Stand directly in front of the ATM, blocking the view of others. You don't want others to see your code or to see what type of transaction you make, or how much money you withdrawal.
- If you must use an ATM after dark, have a friend go with you if possible. Many ATM robberies occur between midnight and 6 a.m.
- At a drive-up ATM keep all windows closed, except the one you are using, and all doors locked. Keep the car running, and keep your eyes moving, watching the front, sides, and rear area; if someone approaches your vehicle on foot cancel the transaction and leave.
- When your transaction is completed, immediately take your property -- card, receipt, money, etc. and put them in your pocket or purse and leave immediately. You can count your money later.
- When you leave the ATM and you feel someone is following you, walk or drive into the closest open business and call the Police.
Report all ATM crimes to the local police and the financial institution. REPORT ANY SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY YOU SEE!
Prevent Bicycle Theft
FACTS: Most bicycles are stolen from the home (yard, garage, dormitory room, etc...) Many bicycles are stolen easily because they are not locked or secured. The next most common targets are bicycles that are not locked with the right type of security protection. Proper use of a lock will make a difference - Use it right. A registered or marked bicycle will improve the chances of it being recovered and returned to you.
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF: How much is your bicycle worth to you? Where will your bicycle be stored? How much time, effort and money are you willing to invest to protect your bicycle?
TYPES OF LOCKS: Cables - Often used to secure bicycles - inexpensive, easily cut or broken. U-Locks - Provides best choice in security - more expensive.
PURCHASE TIPS: Make sure the design of the lock provides functional security. Gimmicks may look cool, but will they protect your bike? Solid steel is strongest. The ideal steel is hardened against cutting, yet maintains flexibility. Do NOT buy a larger lock than you really need. Thieves will use the extra space between the lock and your bike to break or cut the lock. Be sure to get a demonstration from a qualified professional of how the lock works and how to properly use it. Locking it right will make it even more difficult for thieves to get their tools into position to attack the lock. If you already have a lock and are upgrading, use both the old and new lock in combination. (the more time and effort it takes a thief to attack your bike, the less likely it will become a theft statistic.)
- ALWAYS LOCK YOUR BIKE.
- Keep records of the make, model and serial number of your bike.
- Lock your bike to a fixed, immoveable object. Beware of locking your bike to an object that can be cut or easily broken.
- Always lock your bike in a visible and well lit area where other bikes are stored.
- If your U-Lock has its keyway on the end of the crossbar, position the lock with the keyway end facing down toward the ground. This makes it harder for the thief to access your lock.
- Always secure your components and accessories, especially those which can easily be removed, like quick release wheels and seats.
- Check your lock before you leave to make sure you have it secured properly.
- Report any suspicious activity around bike racks or other storage areas to the police.
- Crime prevention is a cooperative effort, between the campus community and the police. To better understand how to prevent crime, one must know that three elements are required before a crime can occur. These three elements are desire, a target and opportunity. A crime cannot occur if you prevent one of these elements.
- You can do your part in crime prevention by not giving crime an opportunity. The department attempts to target groups and activities within the university and provides seminars dealing with crime prevention and safety. Foot and vehicle patrols are routine.
Jogging Safety Tips
Jogging Can Be Fun, Healthful, & Safe When You Take Precautions
Everyone that jogs whether it be once a week or everyday needs to be aware of certain crime prevention tips geared exclusively for them. These safety tips can apply to anyone that is on the street either walking, jogging or running. With the number of joggers in the United States, it is not surprising when we read in newspapers that a man was attacked or that a woman was raped as she jogged by herself in a fashionable neighborhood. One thing we need to remember is that no one is immune to crime. Crime does not always happen to the other guy. It could happen to you. By being aware, the jogger can reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of an attack. One of the most serious problems for joggers is not paying attention. They become so preoccupied with the physical act of jogging that they loose touch with the moment. They are so busy concentrating on how much further they have to go and on putting one foot in front of the other, that they don't pay attention to what is happening right here, right now! When not paying attention it gives the would be attacker the opportunity to surprise them. Being alert and being aware is vital at all times.
Safety Tips for Joggers:
- Jog with a known companion.
- Jog in a familiar area.
- Do not jog in a secluded area.
- Do not jog after dark.
- Jog facing traffic.
- If followed go to the nearest house and call the Police.
- Wear bright colored clothing to improve your visibility.
- Carry a whistle or shrill alarm to summon help, if needed.
- Vary your route and pattern of running.
- Always be aware of your surroundings. Keep Alert!!!
- Jog away from bushes where someone could hide.
- Take a key with you when you jog. Don't leave your house unlocked. Someone might be watching you and your house to see when it will be empty or unlocked.
Protecting Your Credit
The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, better known as the FACT Act, entitles consumers to one free credit report per year from each of the three major credit bureaus (Experian®, Equifax, and TransUnionTM).
Three Ways to Order Your Credit Report
- Online – Annual Credit Report
- Phone – (877) 322-8228
- Mail – Print a request form from the Web address above, fill it out and send to: Annual Credit Report Request Service P.O. Box 105281 Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.
Remember, you may obtain one credit report from each of the three credit bureaus. You may choose to request one report every four months so that you are able to view your credit file periodically. If you request all three at once, you will not be entitled to another free credit report through this service for another year. However, if you believe that you are victim of identity theft, you should obtain one credit report from each credit bureau in order to make sure that your information is correct with each bureau. Your credit report contains information that determines your credit score. Your score affects your ability to borrow money at attractive rates, get insurances or even secure employment. It's important to understand the content of your credit report. Here are some key areas to check. Information that reflect inconsistencies with your actions or incorrect information could be signs of attempts to steal your identity. Inquiries: These should correspond to applications that you've made for credit. Creditors, employers or collection agencies, however, might recheck your credit periodically. These rechecks are shown as "inquiries" on your report. Inactive Accounts with Activity: Thieves sometimes change the address on inactive accounts and use them on their own. Accounts You are Unaware Of: If an account is new, this may be a sign that an identity thief has opened an account in your name. As a precaution, you should close accounts you no longer use. Unexpected Public Records: Pay attention to public records – court judgments, evictions and liens, for example – that don't belong to you. Unexpected Derogatory Information: Typically an identity thief will incur a lot of charges and never pay for them. Look for unexpected past due items. If you determine that you are a victim of identity theft, immediately report your findings to your financial institutions and your local police. You should also place a fraud alert on your credit report.
(Modified from PSECU e-News Letter)
Protecting Your Credit from Phishing/Fraud
Here is some information on Phishing Scams: Don't Take the Bait
Internet phishing scams, like other forms of fraud, prey on the unwary. Phishing con artists claim to be from a reputable company and send out thousands of fake e-mails and fake Web page images in hopes that consumers will respond with account information, credit card numbers, passwords or other sensitive information. This information can then be used by the thieves to order goods and services or obtain credit. A phishing e-mail can look quite convincing, with company logos and banners copied from actual, legitimate Web sites. Often, they will tell recipients that their security procedure has changed or that they need to update (or validate) personal information and the recipients will be directed to a look-alike website. Phishing attempts may also try to impart a sense of urgency to get recipients to respond before thinking through the situation. Consumers should be vigilant. For more information on phishing, visit any of the following:
- Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.: www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/news/cnwin0304/phishing.html
- Federal Trade Commission: www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/comsumer/alerts/alt127.htm
- Anti-Phishing Working Group: www.antiphishing.org/index.html
- National Consumers League: www.phishinginfo.org/ , or OCC Consumer Protection News: www.occ.gov/Consumer/phishing.htm
Tips to Thwart Phishing
- Never give out personal financial information in response to an unsolicited phone call, fax or e-mail, no matter how official it may seem.
- Do not respond to e-mails that may warn of dire consequences unless you validate your information immediately. Contact the company to confirm the e-mail's validity using a telephone number or Web address you know to be genuine.
- Check your credit card and bank account statements regularly and look for unauthorized transactions, even small ones. Some thieves hope small transactions will go unnoticed. Report discrepancies immediately.
- When submitting financial information online, look for the padlock or key icon at the bottom of your Internet browser. Also, many secure Internet addresses, though not all use "https" to signify that your information is secure during transmission.
- Report suspicious activity to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, www.ic3.gov/, a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center.
Steps to Reduce the Risk of Book Theft
What to Do If a Book is Misplaced Or Stolen
Immediately contact the Department of Public Safety, University Police at 570-484-2278.
What Will Campus Police Do About The Misplaced Or Stolen Book?
Once you report the misplaced or stolen book, the University Police will file a report.
- Contact local bookstores about your misplaced or stolen book.
- Prosecute, if a suspect is apprehended trying to sell the book.
To Prevent Theft - Eliminate The Opportunity
- Follow the above steps to identify the books as yours.
- Keep your room door locked at all times.
- Keep your bookbag and books with you or in sight at all times.
- If prohibited from keeping your books or valuables with you, keep them in sight or secure them in a locker or other secure place.