West Orange Issues Information Regarding Cybercrimes and Identity Theft

West Orange, NJ – Summer time is fun time but don’t let a relaxed laid-back attitude supplant
complacency. As mobile phones and home computers become increasingly part of our daily routines be aware not to overlook important safeguards.

This is especially true in the safe surroundings of your home where the convenience of on-line shopping may contribute to a false sense of security.

Local police agencies around the country are constantly reporting both new and reoccurring fraudulent based computer crimes involving identity theft occurring in their communities. Most are easily prevented with a minimal amount of raised awareness.

“These are usually crimes of opportunity that are not limited to any geographical boundaries which unsuspecting individuals can easily fall prey to.”, says John DeMars Detective Lieutenant of the West Orange Police Criminal Investigations Unit.

“Residents should make themselves aware of some basic known scams and constantly question anything that doesn’t seem to make sense to them.” DeMars further advised.

Here is a recap of some categories of known scams listed on www.fraud.org/scams. More detailed information is available on their web site.

Keep in mind no list will ever be complete and caution should always be exercised.

Be especially suspicious of companies or anyone else calling for updated credit card information over the phone since most companies or agencies such as the IRS don’t use this practice.

The first line of defense in protecting yourself in any situation regarding cybercrime or identity theft is by utilizing common sense and keeping your guard up.

Some common scams fall into these categories but are not limited to:

 Credit, debt, and loans
 Fraud against older adults
 Health fraud
 Identity theft
 Money-making scams
 Phony prizes and sales  Scams of the heart
 Tech scams

Remember if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Tech scams sometimes innocently involve giving information to someone you believe is posing as a bonofide company representative but in reality can be an imposter.

This often happens when you dial a wrong number so it’s best to double check company contact information with a reliable source before dialing.

If something doesn’t seem right don’t be afraid to question it or hang up. If it is a legitimate and important matter they will call back.

Be aware of scammers who claim to be a friend or representative calling for a relative of yours who needs money or may be in jail.

Residents should not feel embarrassed or ashamed if they believe they have been a target of any scam or have fallen victim to a scam. All are urged to report it or any other suspicious activity by either visiting the West Orange Police Headquarters at 60 Main Street during regular business hours or by calling (973) 325 4000 anytime to make arrangements to have a police officer visit your home.