Crime Prevention Corner Where do we go from here with the coronavirus?

Ron Craig, Crime Prevention/Community Policing Officer

        No one knows for sure what will come next with the COVID-19 virus. Will there be a second wave of infections? When will summer sports begin again? When will we be able to sit down in a restaurant for a meal?
        One thing is sure, however, and that is in regard to crime prevention.
        There will always be people out there who want to scam you out of your money, but that is now being ramped up because most everyone has extra money from the Economic Impact Payments.
        The Better Business Bureau is being flooded with complaints from people who have fallen for scams and have been swindled out of money, sometimes to the tune of thousands of dollars at a time.
        One angle being used by the scammers relates to donating money to what seems like a good cause. It can be hard to resist when someone calls from what they say is a charity that is to help first responders or medical personnel. Some of these scams are coming by way of a phone call or an email. I have received some of these calls myself.
        If you want to help such a cause, remember that almost all police departments and fire departments have a charitable arm that accepts donations directly. Giving to one of these will do so much more good than giving to a state or national organization, which will probably not give one dime to a local department.
        The same thing goes for national organizations that help pets. Giving money to the local dog shelter or humane society will help pets in our area.
        Speaking of pets, the Better Business Bureau is getting many calls from people who have been scammed as they try to acquire a dog or cat. It’s an old scam. Scammers post a picture of an adorable dog or cat on a website and people send money only to find out the pet doesn’t exist. Hundreds of dollars and more are lost by well-meaning people who fall prey to this scam.
        This is on the rise now because some people who are feeling isolated and lonely are looking for four-legged companions. Again, turn to a local dog shelter or humane society to get a pet that really needs a home, or deal with a local reputable breeder. Never try to buy a pet without seeing it yourself in person.
        There isn't enough space to tell you all of the scams going around right now, but just beware of any transaction you make over the phone or online. Giving out personal information, including bank account information or Social Security numbers, will likely have a tragic result.
        This article is a public service from the Crime Prevention Division of the Lake Township Police Department. Township residents may obtain further information on crime prevention and public safety topics by contacting Ron Craig, crime prevention specialist/community policing officer, at 419-481-6354.


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