PROTECT YOURSELF with Crime Prevention Programs - JuniperCivic.com
Serving Middle Village and Maspeth since 1938.

Originally published in the March 2015 Juniper Berry Magazine

PROTECT YOURSELF with Crime Prevention Programs

The following FREE Crime Prevention Programs are offered to the public. Residential & Commercial Surveys – The Pct. Crime Prevention Officer will visit your home, apartment or business and conduct a security survey. A security survey consists of a thorough analysis of your home, apartment or business and its environment to determine the effectiveness of the present security. A confidential written report is then provided with the Crime Prevention Officer's evaluation and recommendations that improve the security of the residence or commercial premise.

Auto Theft Programs

(NYPD issued decals are affixed to window of your vehicle)

CAT – Motorist not usually operating vehicles between 1:00AM – 5:00AM

COMMUTER CAT – Motorist not usually operating vehicles between 10:00AM – 4:00PM

HEAT – Motorist over the age of 40 years of age who do not allow anyone under the age of 25 years old to operate their vehicles.

TRIP- For Taxi or Livery Drivers during hours of operation in their taxi or livery vehicles.

GLASS VIN ETCHING – A chemical process that permanently etches the VIN number on all the glass windows of your vehicle. Glass Vin Etching helps to deter the vehicle from being stolen and helps identify the vehicle if it is in fact stolen. Insurance companies also offer 5%-10% discounts on insurance rates for participants of this program.

Participating in CAT, COMMUTER CAT and HEAT programs allows the police to stop vehicles with decals during those hours and make an inquiry of person operating that vehicle to insure proper operating authorization as well as to insure safety of operator and occupants for those taxi or livery operators participating in the TRIP program. Glass VIN etch is done during Spring, Summer and Fall.

DECEPTION BURGLARIES

Perpetrators use several deception tactics to gain entry into residential homes for the purposes of burglarizing those homes. Perpetrators usually work in teams of 2 or more. Perpetrators can be either males or females.

Tactic #1 – Perpetrator posing as Utility Worker knocks on door and then requests to come in home to inspect meters or utility lines in home. The home owner allows perpetrator in home believing worker is alone. Home owner then accompanies perpetrator into basement or another part of the home then second perpetrator which was not seen by home owner enters and burglarizes the home.

Tactic #2 – Perpetrator posing as a contractor attempts to get home owner to exit the home to inspect, roof, chimney, fence, or other exterior part of the home while second perpetrator then enters the home then burglarizes the home.

Be cautious when someone is at your door unexpectedly. Today's criminals fabricate the most convincing stories to deceive people into allowing them into their homes. The elderly are usually the most vulnerable to these types of deceptions. Utility companies usually let their customers know in advance when they are coming to a residence. It is important to always ask to see identification of any person claiming to be a utility worker. Keep in mind that a criminal could be a male or a female. Call 911 if you suspect the person at your door is not who they claim to be. Never open your door to any strangers.

IDENTITY THEFT

Identity theft could be your worst nightmare. If you have someone steal your identity it can literally take months or maybe years attempting to clear your name and could cost you thousands of dollars in losses. Identity thieves steal names and personal information to commit countless types of fraud. If your identity is stolen, it could be used by thieves to apply for credit cards, open new bank accounts, purchase expensive items and establish multiple accounts in your name. A victim of identity theft could experience countless credit problems of enormous consequences, financial problems such as being turned down for many types of loans, such as educational, automobile and mortgage. These are some of the effects caused by this crime. You should do everything possible to protect yourself and your family from becoming the victims of identity theft. You cannot be certain that you will never be a victim of this crime but you can minimize risk with the following steps.

What can you do to protect yourself

from identity theft?

1. Shred all of your bills and important documents before throwing them in the garbage.

2. Provide personal information such as S.S.# only when it is absolutely necessary.

3. Know your bill cycles and monitor your mail for missing bills.

4. Deposit outgoing mail in post office collection boxes.

5. Personal information should only be used on Internet websites that are encrypted.

6. Make sure your computer has a firewall program and virus protection.

7. Never provide personal information over the phone to solicitors. Get a copy of your credit report from a major credit bureau and make sure it is accurate.

What do you do if you become a

victim of identity theft?

1. Notify all creditors and banks by phone and in writing.

2. Notify the police and file a police report.

3. Notify the Social Security Administration Fraud Hotline 1-800-269-0271.

4. Notify the nearest U.S. Postal Inspection Office.

5. Notify all major credit bureaus. Notify all creditors to contact you before opening any new accounts.

Major Credit Bureaus

Equifax www.equifax.com 1-800-685-1111

Experian www.experian.com 1-888-397-3742

Trans-Union www.tuc.com 1-800-916-8800