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Safety Tips
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In the event of an emergency, call 9-1-1 

The Flushing Township Police Departments would like to keep all residents and visitors to the area safe. We have listed tips for more common safety issues below. Always remember, you should not give your personal information, Social Security number, financial account numbers, birth dates or maiden name over the phone to someone you do not know.  If you have questions about your safety or security, please do not hesitate to call the police department at 810-659-0809.

Email Spam Information
Computer Safety
Fraud
Residential Tips for Inside the Home
Residential Tips for Outside the Home
Identity Theft
Vehicle Tips

Computer Safety

  • Keep your identity private:  Never give out your real name, telephone number, Social Security Number or personal information that someone could use to determine your actual identity online.
  • Never respond to e-mails from someone you do not know.  If you receive emails with strange forward subject lines or are hostile, belligerent or inappropriate.  Delete them immediately without opening them.  They may contain viruses.
  • Be sure to use current and updated anti-virus and anti-spam software and run daily computer checks.
  • Use either routers or firewalls to keep out hackers.
  • Don't fall victim to virus hoaxes that may cause you to accidently delete perfectly legitimate files.
  • Be aware of internet scams.
  • Beware of instant messages that may carry worms and trojans that may cause computer infection.
  • Check out the latest software that can protect you and your family from inappropriate images that bombard computer screens, such as "i-c-what-u-c".
  • If you allow your child access to the internet, please monitor their activities and speak to them about the dangers of internet predators.

Avoid Being a Victim of Fraud

  • Never give out Social Security numbers, Driver License numbers or any personal information over the internet or phone unless you know exactly who you are giving the information to.
  • Do not pay for something merely because you will receive a "free gift".
  • Check out unsolicited offers with the Better Business Bureau, local Consumer Protection Agency, or the Attorney General's Office before you agree to send money.
  • Remember - "If it's too good to be true, it is!"
  • To stop many unsolicited calls, put your phone number on the National "Do Not Call" registry.
  • If you receive a call that you do not want, ask the company to put you on their own "Do Not Call" list.  They are obligated not to call you back.
  • When throwing away garbage, be sure to shred any important documents that may have any personal information on it so it is unreadable.
  • If you receive a request to deposit a check in your bank account, then wire funds via Western Union, while keeping a certain percentage for yourself, this is most likely a scam.  Western Union transactions can not be refunded or for the most part, even traced back to anyone.

Residential Tips for Inside the Home

  • Lock your doors even when you are home.
  • Use deadbolt locks on all exterior doors.
  • When inside, keep storm doors locked, creating a barrier to anyone on the outside.
  • Leave garage doors closed at all times
  • Do not leave purses, money or any other valuables in plain view of windows such as countertops or tabletops within the home.
  • When gone, use timers for lights, radios or a TV to give the appearance that someone is home.
  • Consider an alarm system or video cameras.  Displaying alarm company signs or decals and having false camera domes, even if you don't actually have these systems, may deter a burglar from breaking into your home.
  • Consider a safe for valuables.  Large, heavy  safes, that are secured to the home, are more difficult for a thief to enter or take with them.
  • Do not allow a stranger into your home.  If someone asks to use your phone, make them wait outside and make the call for them through the door.
  • These steps may not stop a determined thief, as safes have been taken, but the more difficult you make it for a thief, the better your chances of reducing your loss.  Most burglars are looking for a quick and easy opportunity.
  • Record identification information about your property.  Serial numbers or engraved identification helps in returning recovered property to the owner.  There are many instances of police recovering property that was stolen, but the item can't be identified and returned.

Residential Tips for Outside the Home

  • Leave outside lights on at night to illuminate dark areas.
  • Arrange for lawn care service, to avoid the appearance of a vacant home.
  • Do not leave bicycles in plain sight, unattended.
  • Keep bushes trimmed away from the house and windows, as they make good hiding places.
  • Stop all mail and paper deliveries when on vacation or away for the weekend.
  • Contact the local police department to conduct a "Vacation Check" on your home while you are away.
Get to know your neighbors, be observant of suspicious or unknown persons and vehicles in the area and call 911.

Identity Theft

Identity theft starts with the misuse of your personally identifying information such as your name and Social Security number, credit card numbers, or other financial account information. For identity thieves, this information is as good as gold.
Skilled identity thieves may use a variety of methods to get hold of your information, including:
  • Dumpster Diving- They rummage through trash looking for bills or other paper with personal information.
  • Skimming- They steal credit/debit card numbers by using a special storage device when processing your card.
  • Phishing- They pretend to be financial institutions or companies and send spam or pop-up messages to get you to reveal your personal information.
  • Changing Your Address- They divert your billing statements to another location by completing a change of address form.
  • Old-Fashioned Stealing- They steal wallets and purses; mail, including bank and credit card statements; pre-approved credit offers; and new checks or tax information. They steal personnel records, or bribe employees who have access.
  • Pretexting-  They use false pretenses to obtain your personal information from financial institutions, telephone companies, and other sources.  For more information about pretexting, click here.

Vehicle Tips

  • Lock car doors and never leave keys in the vehicle.
  • Do not leave cell phones, CD's, tapes, purses and other valuables in view within the vehicle.
  • Never give a stranger a ride in your vehicle.  If someone needs help, call 911.
  • If your vehicle breaks down on the roadway, DO NOT leave the car.  Turn on your hazard lights, call 911 and wait for assistance.

Email Spam Information

Email spam can come in many disguises. It may claim you have won a foreign lottery or can
share in an overseas inheritance. Maybe it's a money-making scheme or an illegal seller of
medicines. A simple rule: If you don't know the sender of the email message, don't open it! The
FTC (Federal Trade Commission) gives you the chance to go one step further. If you get spam
email that you think is deceptive, forward it tospam@uce.gov. The FTC uses this database to
pursue law-enforcement actions against those who send spam. You should also check your
internet service provider's (ISP) website to find out where to report spam directly to the ISP.

Important Information about Identity Theft

Identity Theft is real and affects many residents in our city. Precautions that should be
taken involve the use of your credit and debit cards. Many card companies will call you if they see
suspicious activity on your account. First and foremost, the companies do not ask for your account
numbers or personal information when they call you. Questions will be asked about the suspicious
activity such as; on-line charges from out of state or large item purchases. When shopping and
using 'plastic', keep receipts with you and not with the merchandise. Do not throw out receipts in
trash containers outside the businesses - there is enough information on the receipts allowing
access to your accounts. Review your accounts frequently for unauthorized activity.
When traveling or leaving your residence for a period of time; place holds on mail and newspapers,
contact neighbors or family to keep an eye on your property, use timing devices on lights and
contact police for vacation checks. No matter if leaving for the evening or extended periods
of time, always secure the doors and windows. If you observe suspicious activity, contact 911
immediately as you are more familiar with the activities in your neighborhood.
If you see something that makes you feel uneasy, call 911!

An Important Message From The Police Department

As a reminder to all residents, please do not let people into your homes that you do not
know, especially those that show up at your door unannounced and unexpected.
All solicitors and peddlers are required to register and obtain a permit from the Township of
Flushing prior to carrying out these activities. This permit must be carried at all times by the
solicitor and shown to anyone requesting to see it. Especially in these troubled economic times,
there are those using false pretenses (such as pretending to inspect your home to qualify you for
government assisted repairs) who have NOT been investigated by the Police Department and
have NOT been issued a permit. Do not let them into your home. If any solicitors or peddlers
come to your home, ask to see their permit from the Township. If they do not have a permit, if
they refuse to leave when asked, or if they are in any way suspicious, rude, or treating you in
other than a courteous and professional manner, CALL 911 immediately so that the Police
Department can check these people out. Even if you feel this is not an emergency, CALL 911 as
this is the only way an officer can be dispatched to investigate.