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1 Reminder, 2 Thank Yous, ID Theft Prevention Tips, Phone Scam in the Area / Property Crime on Thursday, June 8th

One Reminder:  The Foothills Community Policing Council Meeting will be on Monday, June 12th at 6:00 p.m. at Holiday Park Community Center, 11710 Comanche Rd NE.

Two Thank Yous:

  1. Thank you Stand True 4 Blue for dropping off donuts on Thursday — everyone appreciated the snacks!
  2. Thanks to the residents and management team at Eagle Point Apartment Community for hosting a well-attended meeting last night to talk about crime prevention.  Eagle Point has been renewed for another year in the Crime Free Multi-Housing program, a partnership program between the Albuquerque Police Department and rental communities.  If interested in the Crime Free Multi-Housing program, contact your local APD Crime Prevention Specialist.

Identity Theft:  Quick Prevention Tips

I’ve had several calls and questions at community meetings this week asking about Identity Theft and what’s the most common method of gathering personal information.  After speaking with an APD detective currently working dozens of cases, he told me that what he is seeing is:  stolen mail seems to be leading as the method to get pieces of personal information or a whole profile depending upon what mail has been stolen, then computer efforts to ‘phish’ for data by sending e-mails to potential victims hoping they will click on links or provide personal/financial information to various bogus pleas or demands or warnings, then the unsolicited phone call trying to pry the caller into providing personal information / financial data over the phone.

Tips to Remember:

Do not give out personal information without verifying yourself directly with the institution.

Invest in a cross-cut or confetti style shredder for your personal documents rather than tossing them intact into the recycle/trash.

Try to migrate your banking to on-line services rather than hope your banking statements make it to you safely in the mail.  Then make it a point to have strong passwords, change the passwords every so often, and check the balances at least every few days to catch any discrepancies quickly.

Pick up mail daily — do not let mail sit in the box.

Take outgoing mail to a secured USPS site rather than leaving it in the mailbox on the block.

If you get a strange call or do not recognize the phone number, let it go to voicemail and then decide whether to engage/respond if the caller leaves a message.

Phone Scam operating in our area:  If you get a call from a stranger asking for funds for a grandchild in jail, car wreck, etc. call the family member yourself and verify. This scam pops up every so often and I have heard of recent incidents in one of our Foothills Area Command neighborhoods about this particular one — a caller claiming the scam target’s grandchild has been picked up in Cancun for drunk driving or drunkenness and needs grandma to wire bail money.

These are just a few tips — the best advice is to be aware and verify first when asked for information.  Good resources for further study are the Federal Trade Commission (FTC.gov), Krebs on Security newsletter, the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office and AARP has some great information geared towards seniors, but applicable to any age group.

Property Crimes reported in the Foothills Area Command on Thursday, June 8th:

2 Armed Robberies/Commercial:  300-block of Eubank Blvd NE, 100-block of Hotel Circle NE.

2 Stolen Vehicles:  11300-block of Constitution NE, 1900-block of Muriel NE.

1 Commercial Burglary:  11300-block of Baldwin NE.

1 Residential Burglary:  5700-block of Peppertree NE.  Entry:  Tried to pry several windows and broke one to make entry.  Items stolen:  Flat screen TV, purses, a basket.

3 Auto Burglaries:  3300-block of Blume St NE, 1900-block of Butterfly Trail NE, 4200-block of Spanish Bit NE.  Entries:  Unlocked vehicle, pried open door with a knife, 1 forced entry not detailed.  Items stolen:  Vehicle registration, garage door opener and box of personal items.  One vehicle was damaged after a failed attempt to steal it by the offender(s).

Be safe, have a great weekend and I hope you’ll check into some of the resources provided above to learn more about preventing identity theft and being a victim of a telephone scammer.

Jill Garcia, Crime Prevention Specialist / ICPS, NCPS – APD, Foothills Area Command