The West York Borough Police Department is adament about maintaining the safety and security of all its residents, especially those who many times, cannot reasonably protect themselves. The importance of educating children about the 'just say no to strangers' ideology is a very important initiative that the West York Borough Police Department encourages its community members to adopt. Listed below are pieces of advice for parents about educating their children about talking to strangers to minimize the likelihood of 'stranger danger'.
Parents must identify who is a trustworthy stranger, such as a teacher, police officer or a fireman, and who is a dangerous stranger. If children have a better understanding of what strangers can be trusted, they will be more equiped to handle themselves if put into situations involving contact with a stranger.
A stranger can be both someone you know, and someone you do not know. You may have seen this person around the neighborhood before but do not know anything about that person. In that case, they are still a stranger.
You cannot tell if a stranger is nice or not by looking at him or her, but you can tell if a situation is good or bad.
Be aware of dangerous situations. If a stranger asks you for help or tells you to keep a secret, say no and tell a trusted adult.
Remember that safe grown ups do not ask children for help.
Trust your instincts and do not be scared to be assertive. If you feel scared or uncomfortable, make an excuse to leave or runaway to a safe location.
Always ask your parents first. If a stranger asks you to go somewhere with them, or offers you a gift, tell them you need to ask your parents first.
Stay in a group and use the buddy system. Always travel with your friends.
Always tell you parents where you and going and let them know when you get there.
Don't take shortcuts through the woods, a back street, or an empty lot.
Do not ever tell your name, address, or school name to a stranger.
If a person is following you, try to memorize their license plate number and immediately tell a trusted adult
While these tips are not exhaustive and do not guarantee that children will avoid 'stranger danger', they drastically decrease the likelihood of a child abduction or injury.
If you have further questions or concerns, please contact WYBPD directly (717) 854-1975
ALERT #2 - Income Tax Filing “Phishing” Attacks
The West York Borough Police Department has received information that law enforcement agencies have been reporting an increase in attempted e-mail phishing attacks with respect to income tax filing deadlines. The objective of these types of attacks is to lure people to click on links or an attachment within the body of an e-mail, leading that person to execute a malicious computer code on their computer. Listed below are preventive strategies to minimize the chance of an attack being successful.
The sender of an e-mail or initiator of the phone call is your first indication as to whether an e-mail or phone call is legitimate. Be cognizant of how you file, whether electronically or via e-mail and whether through a third party tax service or the IRS directly. If being contacted by phone, ask for that person’s name and call back number.
If you file a paper copy but receive an e-mail notification, there is a good chance the received e-mail is malicious. The IRS and third party providers typically do not send e-mail notifications, especially to taxpayers filing a paper return. If you file a paper return yet receive an e-mail notification, contact the IRS or whoever prepared your taxes directly.
If you file your taxes online, but receive e-mails from other third parties stating that you are eligible for a larger return, or there was an error on your return, treat these e-mails as suspicious and do not open them. Notify the IRS and your tax filing service provider about the e-mail.
Do not click on links in e-mails or open any attachments. Typically notifications from the IRS come via postal service. The IRS will not initiate contact with taxpayers by e-mail to request personal or financial information. If there is any doubt contact the IRS or your tax provider directly prior to opening any attachments.
Do not give out any personal information over the phone or in an e-mail without confirming the other party’s identity. Ask for a name and callback number and verify the authenticity of the phone call.
If you have any questions regarding electronic filing, please contact the IRS directly at: http://www.irs.gov
If you have further questions or concerns please contact WYBPD directly (717) 854-1975
ALERT #3 - Fraudulent Notifications
The West York Borough Police Department continue to receive reports of letters and e-mails being distributed pursuant to prize sweepstakes or lottery schemes. These schemes use counterfeit checks that bear legitimate-looking logos of various financial institutions to fool victims into sending money to the fraudsters.
Fraudsters tell victims they won a sweepstakes or lottery, but to receive a lump sum payout, they must pay the taxes and processing fees upfront. Fraudsters direct individuals to call a telephone number to initiate a letter of instructions. The letter alleges that the victim may elect to take an advance on the winnings to make the required upfront payment. The letter includes a check in the amount of the alleged taxes and fees, along with processing instructions. Ultimately, victims believe they are using the advance to make the required upfront payment, but in reality they are falling prey to the scheme.
The victim deposits the check into their own bank, which credits the account for the amount of the check before the check clears. The victim immediately withdraws the money and wires it to the fraudsters. Afterwards, the check proves to be counterfeit and the bank pulls the respective funds from the victim’s account, leaving the victim liable for the amount of the counterfeit check plus any additional fees the bank may charge.
Persons may fall victim to this scheme due to the allure of easy money and the apparent legitimacy of the check the fraudsters include in the letter of instruction. The alleged cash prizes and locations of the financial institutions vary.
Tips to avoid being scammed:
A federal statute prohibits mailing lottery tickets, advertisements, or payments to purchase tickets in a foreign lottery.
Be leery if you do not remember entering a lottery or sweepstakes.
Beware of lotteries or sweepstakes that charge a fee prior to delivering your prize.
Be wary of demands to send additional money as a requirement to be eligible for future winnings.
If you have been a victim of this type of scam or any other cyber crime, you can report it to the Internet Crime Complaint Center or IC3 at http://www.IC3.gov. The IC3 is a partnership between the FBI, the National White Collar Crime Center and the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The IC3 complaint database links complaints for potential referral to law enforcement for case consideration. Complaint information is also used to identify emerging trends and patterns to alert the public to new criminal schemes.
If you have further questions or concerns please contact WYBPD directly at (717) 854-1975