At times West Norriton Township will experience an increase or spike in certain types of criminal activity. This is not an unusual occurrence as it happens across the United States. One of the reasons the West Norriton Police Department encourages residents to report any type of crime or suspicious activity is to monitor these spikes. Please refer to the township website or Facebook section for crime alerts.
Tuesday August 18, 2015
We receive numerous calls every month concerning fraud and identity theft. Many fraud cases are perpetrated over the phone. One example is a resident will receive a phone call from a person pretending to be a member of law enforcement stating that their grandchild has been arrested and that if the resident wants their grandchild to be released they will have to send money. Many times the caller will put the supposed "grandchild" on the phone and in an excited voice the "grandchild" will beg the resident to provide the bail money. The resident is then given instructions on how to wire the money or obtain green dot cards from a local store. The resident is also advised not to speak with anyone concerning the incident. Sometimes, after the money transfer occurs, the original caller will call back to advise the resident that additional bail money is needed. Not wanting their "grandchild " incarcerated, the resident sends the additional funds. The resident may not realize they have been defrauded until later on when they speak with their real grandchild.
We also respond to several calls each month for identity theft. This is a problem that is, unfortunately, made easier in today's world due to the ease of obtaining personal information. This can be accomplished by numerous means including large scale hacking events, skimmers on ATM machines or the theft of a wallet that contains personal identification such as a drivers license. There are many ways to protect your personal information including:
- Do not provide your date of birth or social security number over the phone to a person who has called you
- When entering your PIN at an ATM or cash register, cover the keypad with your hand
- Keep your PIN confidential and do not write it on the back of your debit card
- Check your credit report
- Be leery of unsolicited email's
Many victims of identity theft and fraud have taken all of the proper precautions but have still fallen victim to these crimes. Should you become a victim, contact this department as soon as possible to have an officer respond to your residence to file a report.