Guest Editorial Week of 3/30/20

Ron Craig

Much to talk about in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak

There is no doubt the coronavirus has changed all our lives.
I am right there with all of you since early in the outbreak, my chief directed me to work from home. I am spending much of my time making calls to Neighborhood Watch members and others to check on them and to provide some socialization during these times of isolation.
I am also investigating ways to conduct Neighborhood Watch meetings without requiring people to physically come together.
What is happening in Lake Township
Our officers have had to make changes in the way they perform their duties. For one thing, they are trying to handle as may calls as they can by phone. This, of course, reduces the number of personal contacts they must make, and that is the key to stemming the spread of the virus.
We’ve all heard the term “supply chain” in the news lately. While we have many fine businesses in Lake Township, one stands out as a shining star as we talk about supply chain. Nagle Trucking has a fleet of refrigerated tractor-trailer rigs that are delivering life-sustaining food products.
I had the pleasure of talking to owner Ed Nagle recently, and he told me there have been only a few snags as his drivers perform their duties. Hats off to Ed, his employees, and all truck drivers for doing their part in getting the food to us we all need.
Watch out for scams and internet fraud
As a crime prevention officer, my biggest fear is that people will become victims of scams and internet fraud. There are several reports out there of unscrupulous people who are preying on others during the viral outbreak.
Fake vendors are advertising health products and safety products that don't exist. There are a lot of people trying to get their hands on face masks, hand sanitizer and other such items in an effort to try to protect themselves. There are nationwide shortages of these items, and healthcare professionals are concerned there will not be enough for them.
Another item high in demand is virus test kits, and many people are falling victim to those who pretend to have them for sale. If these items were truly available, states and the federal government would have purchased them. Scammers are swindling big chunks of money out of people trying to acquire these items that don't exist.
Internet fraud is running rampant right now. There are fake websites and emails circulating that are aimed at trying to get your personal information that will lead to your bank accounts being emptied.
Never…let me repeat…never give your personal information out to anyone calling or emailing you, regardless of what they are telling you.
A lot of people end up being scammed when they do an internet search for a government agency or company, only to find out later they were not actually on the official website for the entity they wanted.
For example, if you use Google as your search engine and you type in the entity you are looking for, many times the search results do not reflect what you were looking for. You may need to look down the search results several choices before you find the one you wanted.
If you choose the wrong one, you may end up entering personal information to a website that can lead to fraudulent activity.
In conclusion, we are being told things will get worse before they get better, but hopefully there is light at the end of the tunnel. If we practice social distancing and proper sanitary techniques we are being advised of, that time will come sooner.
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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