Safety Tips

BEWARE PHONY CHARITABLE APPEALS

Turning on the TV or looking online at your favorite news site, it is not hard to find local, national or even international tragedies that tug at your heart strings. Many of us in the community serve in worthwhile charities by volunteering our time and talents to help those less fortunate. Others choose to give donations of food or money to charitable organizations. This is a reminder to those who donate or want to donate money to a worthwhile cause. There are con-artists and telephone scammers who illegally pose as charitable causes in an effort to separate you from your hard earned money. It is strongly suggested that citizens never agree to donate over the phone to any organization. Please keep the following points in mind if you choose to listen to a solicitor:

  • Be wary of appeals that are long on emotion, but short on facts describing what the charity will do to address the needs of victims and their families.
  • If you contribute, do not give cash. Make a check or money order out to the name of the charitable organization, not to the individual collecting the donation.
  • If you decide to contribute online, find out more about the charity before making a contribution and be aware of red flags. For example, some charities imitate the name and style of a well-known organization in order to confuse people. Also, when clicking on the link to “donate”, look at the organization’s URL in the browser window. Exercise caution if the domain name is hidden, is not familiar to you, or is not the same as the one stated in the text of the link.
  • Watch out for excessive pressure for on-the-spot donations.
  • Be wary of any request to send a “runner” to pick up your donation.
  • Do not give your credit card number or other personal information to a telephone solicitor or in response to an e-mail solicitation. Ask the caller or sender to provide you with written information on the charity’s programs and finances.
  • Do not hesitate to ask for written information that describes the charity’s program(s) and finances; such as the charity’s latest annual reports and financial statements. Even newly created organizations should have some basic information available.
  • Be wary of charities that are reluctant to answer reasonable questions about their operations, finances and programs. Ask how much of your gift will be used for the activity mentioned in the appeal and how much will go toward other programs and administrative and fund raising costs.

You can obtain further advice on giving, as well as access reports on national charities, by visiting www.give.org, the Web site of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance; the national charity watchdog affiliated with the BBB system. Reports on local charities are available through your local BBB office or http://lookup.bbb.org .

If you believe that you have been the victim of a questionable charitable appeal, report the crime to the Sheriff’s Office or your local city law enforcement agency immediately.

HOLIDAY SEASON TIPS

During this holiday season, make sure that you stay vigilant in keeping your home and family safe. The holidays are golden opportunities for criminals. Call 911 if you see suspicious activity in your neighborhood. The Sheriff reminds all Randolph County residents to follow these safety tips:

YOUR HOME

  • Do not leave a house key over a door or under a mat
  • Secure all windows with a secondary blocking device
    (wooden dowels, stick)
  • Use inside light timers near the front and back windows with the curtains drawn. These same light timers can be used to turn on radios or televisions to help enhance the appearance of occupancy
  • Lock all doors and windows when leaving the house unattended
  • Don‘t leave your garage door opener on your vehicles sun visor while your car is parked in the driveway
  • Have a friend or neighbor pick up your mail/newspaper

YOUR VEHICLE

  • Lock your doors
  • Remove valuables from your vehicle
  • If you have to leave valuables in you vehicle keep them out of plain view
  • Park in well lit areas
  • If you have a car alarm, use it
     

 

SAFE HALLOWEEN TIPS

Soon our streets will be scattered with little ghosts, goblins and witches trick-or- treating this Halloween. “Halloween should be filled with surprise and enjoyment, and following some common sense practices can keep events safer and more fun,” said Sheriff Maynard Reid of Randolph County

The Sheriff reminds all Randolph County residents to follow these safety tips:

Motorists
  • Watch for children darting out from between parked cars.
  • Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs.
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.
  • At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing.
Parents
  • Make sure that an adult or an older responsible youth will be supervising the outing for children under age 12.
  • Plan and discuss the route trick-or-treaters intend to follow. Know the names of older children’s companions.
  • Instruct your children to travel only in familiar areas and along an established route.
  • Teach your children to stop only at houses or apartment buildings that are well-lit and never to enter a stranger’s home.
  • Establish a return time.
  • Tell your youngsters not to eat any treat until they return home.
  • Review all appropriate trick-or-treat safety precautions, including
  • pedestrian/traffic safety rules.
  • Pin a slip of paper with the child’s name, address and phone number inside a pocket in case the youngster gets separated from the group.
Costume Design
  • Only fire-retardant materials should be used for costumes.
  • Costumes should be loose so warm clothes can be worn underneath.
  • Costumes should not be so long that they are a tripping hazard.
  • If children are allowed out after dark, outfits should be made with light colored materials. Strips of retro-reflective tape should be used to make children visible.
Face Design
  • Masks can obstruct a child’s vision. Use facial make-up instead.
  • When buying special Halloween makeup, check for packages containing ingredients that are labeled “Made with U.S. Approved Color Additives,” “Laboratory Tested,” “Meets Federal Standards for Cosmetics,” or “Non-Toxic.” Follow manufacturer’s instruction for application.
  • If masks are worn, they should have nose and mouth openings and large eye holes.
Accessories
  • Knives, swords and other accessories should be made from cardboard or flexible materials. Do not allow children to carry sharp objects.
  • Bags or sacks carried by youngsters should be light-colored or trimmed with retro-reflective tape if children are allowed out after dark.
  • Carrying flashlights will help children see better and be seen more clearly.
While Trick-or-Treating
  • Do not enter homes or apartments without adult supervision.
  • Walk; do not run, from house to house. Do not cross yards and lawns where unseen objects or the uneven terrain can present tripping hazards.
  • Walk on sidewalks, not in the street.
  • Walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic if there are no sidewalks.
Treats
  • Give children an early meal before going out.
  • Insist that treats be brought home for inspection before anything is eaten.
  • Wash fruit and slice into small pieces.
  • When in doubt, throw it out.
Homeowners/Decorations
  • Keep candles and Jack 0’ Lanterns away from landings and doorsteps where costumes could brush against the flame.
  • Remove obstacles from lawns, steps and porches when expecting trick-or- treaters.
  • Keep candles and Jack 0’ Lanterns away from curtains, decorations and other combustibles that could catch fire.
  • Do not leave your house unattended.

“Halloween is a fun time in Randolph County,” Sheriff Reid concluded, “But let’s make it a safe time as well. The major dangers are not from witches or spirits but rather from falls and pedestrian/car crashes.

 

CYBER TIPS FOR PARENTS

The Internet is a wonderful invention because it makes all our lives easier. We get to shop, communicate, and do business with anybody anywhere in the world. However, the Net has also made the life of sexual offenders and predators easier. Therefore, as parents, we need to do our best so that our kids can full advantage of the Net and at the same time protect them from bad elements that are prowling the cyber world and waiting for their next victim. If you don’t know what to do to safeguard your child’s safety from bad elements on the Net, read on the tips below:

Be On The Know

According to a famous cartoon series in the 80s, Knowing Is Winning Half The Battle. It is true. If you want to protect your child from online sexual predators and other fraudsters, you need to know about the Internet, what sites kids frequent and other things that might interest the youth of today. Many sexual offenders and unscrupulous individuals do extensive research on the Web and what kids like and do not like. They may actually know your kids better than you do. So if you want to protect your kids from these types of wily people, you need to beat them in their own game.

Look For Resources And Groups That Can Help You With Your Cause

If you want to succeed in protecting your children from cyber predators, you need as much help as you can get. Seek help from organizations and groups whose objective or aim is Internet safety for kids. Visit their websites or participate in their campaign so you will have all the knowledge and tools to guide and protect your children.

Talk With Your Kids About Internet Safety

As soon as you buy a computer and subscribe for an Internet connection, you need to teach your kids about Internet safety. Failing to do so is just like allowing your child to enter the lion’s den. It would be best to ask them to team up with you in protecting your family’s identity and privacy. This way, they will feel responsible not only for themselves but also for the whole family as well. They will be warned that personal information they give to people and friends they meet online might cause harm to the whole family.

Impose Rules Regarding Internet Use and Meeting Online Friends

After talking to them about Internet safety, you now need to follow it up with imposing rules. Do not make harsh or very strict rules because they might get rebellious and they may feel that you don’t trust them. Ensure that the rules you impose are reasonable. Explain to them the reason why you are imposing such rules. According to a study conducted by Media Awareness Network in 2005, imposing a rule regarding meeting online friends prevents such incident from happening by 50%. It is good to know that many children still listen to their parents.

Put Computer In The Common Area

To make it harder for online predators to send sexually explicit materials or converse with your children inappropriately, you have to place the computer in the common room, where it would be easier for you to monitor your kids Internet activities. If you put the computer in the children’s bedroom, you won’t be able to monitor them as much as you can.

Encourage Your Kids To Use Family E-mail Account

Set up a family email account and tell your kids to use it. It may be better if you are the one to teach your child to use the email to discourage them from setting up their own account.

Maintain Open Communications With Your Kids

Be open with your kids and ask questions about their friends, school and other activities. It really pays if you are genuinely interested in what they are saying. You know kids, once they feel that you are just asking to snoop around, they will get rebellious. Learn and setup rules for Keeping Our Children Safe!

Install Pertinent Software

There are software programs available on the market that can help parents monitor the computer use of their children. Although you may not be able to read their conversations, at least you will know what sites they visit, what files they are downloading, etc.

Seek Help From School And Other Parents

It is always advisable to seek the help of parents and teachers with regard to Internet safety of children. Since kids can access the computer at school and at their friends’ house, you need to ensure that these computers are safe and protected too.

Monitor Your Kids’ Internet Usage and Behavior

As mentioned earlier, you need to monitor your kids’ Internet usage. Furthermore, you need to be aware of the subtle changes in their behavior. Know the tell tale signs of how children who are being groomed by online sexual predators behave and interact with people.

By Online Security Authority on Jan 24, 2008 in Predators and Pedophiles

 
HOLIDAY SEASON TIPS

During this holiday season, make sure that you stay vigilant in keeping your home and family safe. The holidays are golden opportunities for criminals. Call 911 if you see suspicious activity in your neighborhood. The Sheriff reminds all Randolph County residents to follow these safety tips:

YOUR HOME

  • Do not leave a house key over a door or under a mat
  • Secure all windows with a secondary blocking device
    (wooden dowels, stick)
  • Use inside light timers near the front and back windows with the curtains drawn. These same light timers can be used to turn on radios or televisions to help enhance the appearance of occupancy
  • Lock all doors and windows when leaving the house unattended
  • Don‘t leave your garage door opener on your vehicles sun visor while your car is parked in the driveway
  • Have a friend or neighbor pick up your mail/newspaper

YOUR VEHICLE

  • Lock your doors
  • Remove valuables from your vehicle
  • If you have to leave valuables in you vehicle keep them out of plain view
  • Park in well lit areas
  • If you have a car alarm, use it
Con-artists
Your mother and father warned you about them. The old line "If it's too good to be true....." is as wise a saying today as it was when it was first uttered. Con-artists are still playing the same games trying to seperate you from your hard earned money, they just use different tactics these days. Here are a few of todays most common scams:
  • The Money Transfer Overseas - You receive a fax or email from a desperate person who needs a bank account to transfer his fortune into. You are promised a modest percentage (millions) for your assistance. The reasons they need you range from a foreign lottery, collecting an inheritance or helping a sick family member. THE THIEF WANTS YOUR BANK ACCOUNT OR IDENTITY SO THEY CAN STEAL YOUR MONEY AND RUIN YOUR CREDIT.
  • The Death Threat -  You receive a fax or email from a hitman who has been hired to kill you. For a price, they will leave you in peace. THE CON ARTIST IS PRAYING ON YOUR FEAR AND HOPING YOU"LL PAY. THERE IS NO CONTRACT ON YOUR LIFE. CALL 911 IF YOU WANT PEACE OF MIND.
  • The Overstock Sale - A salesperson calls or stops by your home with "extra" left on their truck or in the warehouse. You can purchase it at a great savings. IS IT STOLEN? IS IT BEING MISREPRESENTED? DO YOU HAVE TO JOIN A BUYER'S CLUB? SOMETIMES MISTAKEN FOR A CRAFTY SALESMAN, THIS SCAM TARGETS THE ELDERLY. A "NO SOLICITATION" AND A "NO TRESPASSING" SIGN WILL GET RID OF THE FOOT TRAFFIC. USE THE FEDERAL GOVERMENT'S DO NOT CALL LIST FOR THE PHONE.
  • The Grand Prize -  You receive a phone call from a contest that you've just won. In order to collect your money or the prize, you have to pay a processing or shipping fee. A CONTEST WHERE YOU WIN MONEY SHOULD ALWAYS COVER EXPENSES RELATED TO AWARDING THE PRIZE. TAXES SHOULD NEVER BE PAID UP FRONT, PAY AFTER YOU GET THE FULL AMOUNT. REMEMBER THAT WHATEVER YOU PAY THIS PERSON TO SHIP OR PROCESS AN ITEM, YOU WILL ALWAYS GET SOMETHING LESS (Ex. You send $20 for shipping and receive a $5 gadget)
These are just a few of the scams that are out there. If you have questions about is it a scam or not, call us at the Sheriff's Office.

If you're locked out of your home, can you still get in?
    Maybe through an unlocked window in the back, or using an extra key hidden under a flowerpot or up on a ledge? Remember: if you can break in, so can a burglar! A small investment of time and money can make your home more secure and can reduce your chances of being a victim of burglary, assault, or vandalism. Get to know your neighbors. Watchful neighbors who look out for you, as well as themselves, are a front-line defense against crime.
  • Make sure that all doors to the outside are metal or solid 1 ¾" hardwood.
  • Make sure all doors to the outside have good, sturdy locks -- deadbolt locks with a minimum of 1 ½" bolt.
  • Use the locks you have. Always lock up your home when you go out, even if it's "only for a few minutes."
  • Secure sliding glass doors with commercially available bars or locks, or put a wooden dowel or broomstick in the door track.
  • Make sure your windows, especially at ground level, have good locks-and use them!
  • Make sure all porches and other possible entrances are well lighted.
  • Trim any bushes or trees that hide doors or windows.
  • Keep ladders, tools, toys, and recreational equipment inside when you're not using them.
  • Don't hide your house keys under the door mat or in a flower pot. It's much wiser to give an extra key to a trusted neighbor.
  • Keep written records of all furniture, jewelry and electronic products. If possible, keep these records in a safe deposit box, fireproof safe or other secure place.
  • Take pictures or a video, and keep purchase information and serial numbers if available. These help law enforcement agencies track recovered items.

 

 

 




 
Main # 336.318.6699  |  email Sheriff@andlphounyNC.gov  |  Emergency dial 9-1-1