Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Door to Door Solicitors

Every year, we receive a lot of calls about door to door solicitors.  These are usually young adults that go door to door selling cleaners or magazines.  They begin their pitch by telling you that they are your neighbor and they are trying to win a trip to London (or name the place) and you can help them out.  Then they tell you if they sell so much of a product they earn the points to get to that fantastic place.
So- why not?   Well, they are not legitimate.  the product they sell is inferior or the magazines are over priced and you may not even get them.  Are they your neighbor?  NO!  they are pretty smart- they learn an neighbors name by reading the sign in front of their house or they may of just talked to your neighbor and asked their name.  They look in the local paper for names of local sports teams or organizations and tell you they are raising money for them.  Its all bogus.  Don't fall for it. 
These sales people are from out of state and are bussed around to sell this stuff.  Sometimes these people commit crimes too (surprise).
Our advice is not to buy anything other than Girl Scout Cookies from people at your door.  If you are interested in the product ask for some literature and mail order it.
Door to door sellers have to be licensed by the Sheriff and show a valid Sheriff sales ID.  They also have to have a legitimate form of ID to back this up.  Non profit (charity) sellers should have a Federal Tax ID as well.
If they are fishy- call us, we will check them out.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


As the holiday season approaches, the Department of Homeland Security’s Stop.Think.Connect.™ Campaign reminds travelers getting ready to head to crowded airports, train, and bus stations to be vigilant with their electronic devices. While many rely on these devices for travel arrangements, identity thieves may try to take advantage of unsuspecting victims on the go. The holidays are a peak time for traveling and hacking alike - in fact, you are 15 times more likely to have your identity stolen than to have your car broken into. [1]
Two key challenges for travelers are the use of unsecured wireless networks at hotels, airports, and other public venues and the infiltration of smartphones through Bluetooth technology, as cited in USA Today. The hospitality industry is the second highest targeted industry for data breaches, behind financial services.[2] 
Follow these simple steps to protect yourself and your personal information while traveling – and remember: Stop and think before you connect.
             Avoid announcing travel on social networks.  Limit your chances of being targeted while traveling and protect your home from potential intruders.
             Password protect your devices. This year, travelers lost 11,000 mobile devices at the busiest U.S. airports, 37.5% laptops and 37.2% tablets or smartphones.[3] 
             Use a credit card to book travel arrangements and for purchases while traveling. There are laws to limit your liability for fraudulent credit card charges, and you may not have the same level of protection when using your debit card.
             Turn Bluetooth off if you’re not using it. Cyber criminals have the know-how to pair their Bluetooth device with yours to steal personal information.
             Be wary of Wi-Fi networks. Only connect over secure networks; checking email, financial accounts, or online shopping over unsecure networks provides an easy gateway for hackers to access your information.
[1] Lifelock
[2] Verizon’s 2010 Data Breach Investigations Report
[3] Credant Technologies

Statue Thefts

We recently had reports of bronze statues being taken from properties.  Thieves take these to try to sell as scrap to recyclers or metal dealers.  These statues are big and heavy- they probably take more than one person to move.    If you see trucks in places they do not belong or suspicious activity, please call us or the Sheriff's Dept.  right away.