Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Community Column by Don Butt (February 2013)

(Town of Mono, ON) Fraud is the name of the game. Certainly it is becoming more prevalent in our area. Mail fraud, Internet and telephone fraud are all around and the personal ones with sales people calling at the door. I am not an expert on fraud but I have friends on the police forces that are and sad to say I have experienced some of these and been bit at least once. One thing I can say that helps is to always check the name of the company and ask for identification.
By and large, a well-known company is safer provided the sales person can prove their credentials. Even if your phone is listed on the do-not-call program, some will still call. If this happens, phone the hot line and let them know who called (number provided below). Of course over the phone you cannot visually check credentials so be extra careful.

One case at my place, I had a chap call who said he was from two different companies and the badge on his jacket showed a different company. Red light immediately in this case. Do not let people into your home unless they are known or have impeccable credentials.

Internet fraud or e-mail fraud is probably the most prevalent, and is very hard to check on. The best advice I can give on these is stay away from them and delete the message. One that I had recently was a phone call purporting to be from Microsoft, telling me an essential program is not running on my computer and offering to fix it. I put them off until I could check it and found that it was a scam to get around your security system and get financial info that can drain your bank account. What next? Just be very vigilant. At our community Safety meeting, on Mar.20 at Monora Park, we will deal with this type of scam , especially  those directed at Seniors.

Safety Tip
Brake sooner in anticipation of icy patches at intersections. Your goal is to be fully stopped before the crosswalk. (This tip comes to you from Doug Annette and the Skid Control School at Oakville, Ont. www.skidcontrolschool.com )

Road Watch
For those who do not have access to a computer, our forms are still available at Mono Plaza and OPP at Primrose. Otherwise use our web site on the Internet.

Don Butt is currently the Public Relations and Media Contact for the Mono Community Policing Committee. If you would like more information on anything covered in Don’s Column or would like to see a topic of public interest or safety covered; post a comment below.