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Darien Police Offer Tips to Keep House Construction Sites Secure from Theft

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Darien police have some tips to make your home less likely to be burglarized, even if it’s being built or renovated. Here’s the Police Department’s announcement about what you can do:
In recent weeks this agency has received reports of burglaries occurring at homes under various stages of construction.  This is not uncommon for our area and often occurs during the overnight. Items such as newly installed kitchen appliances, copper gutters, power tools, and construction supplies have been stolen from sites often sustaining tens of thousands of dollars in losses. Homeowners and contractors should be aware that certain measures can be taken to minimize the chance of being victimized. First and foremost, when taking delivery of items, they should be very securely stored or the contractor should consider security services until such time that the items can be installed and or secured from theft.  The following six tips can help maintain a secure site:
1.      Post warning signs to keep unauthorized persons off the site
2.      Consider video monitoring
3.      Do not leave tools, equipment, or supplies visible or accessible
4.      Use only high-quality locks—never leave keys in locks, or leave locks in an open position
5.      Keep neighbors informed
6.    Provide for nighttime lighting
Please report theft or burglary immediately to the Darien Police Department at 203-662-5300.

Eversource Logo thumbnail square 7-4-16

Eversource: Don’t Be Scammed — Our Employees Never Solicit Door-to-Door

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Eversource business and residential customers across Connecticut continue to be targeted by scammers employing myriad tactics to trick people out of their money or into providing personal financial information.  

Most recently, scammers have been going door-to-door, posing as Eversource employees or claiming to be a “representative” of the company. In light of this, the company is renewing a reminder to customers that its employees all carry proper identification and would never solicit door-to-door or over the phone on behalf of a third-party energy supplier. “If anyone suspects that someone is impersonating an Eversource representative, they should contact us immediately and report it to local police,” said Penni Conner, Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer at Eversource. “The key to stopping these scammers in their tracks is don’t panic, don’t pay and don’t provide any personal information.”


— an announcement from Eversource


Though electricity customers in Connecticut do have the option of choosing a competitive energy supplier, Eversource urges them to do their due diligence and check the validity of any company or offer being made.

State Police Have These Tips for Parents & for Teens Going to the Prom

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Connecticut State Police have some tips for parents to keep their teenagers safe on prom night, which is May 13 in Darien. “There is nothing more heartbreaking than for a trooper or police officer to knock on the door of your home and deliver the sad message nobody wants to hear ‘Your child is not coming home,'” state police said in a recent announcement. Here are the tips, from state police on Facebook:
Prom Tips

Know who your child is attending the prom with and obtain all cell phone numbers. Discuss the events ofr pre- and post-prom parties with your teen and with other parents. Talk with your teen about guidelines and a curfew.

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Darien Police: Don’t Fall for Overpayment Scam in Online Car Selling

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The Darien Police Department would like to warn residents about a scam that is targeting those attempting to legitimately sell a vehicle using various online services. When it comes time to buy a car, consumers are more empowered than ever thanks in large part to the Internet and its offerings of car reviews, online vehicle history reports, detailed car listings, and more. __________
— an announcement from the Darien Police Department
The Internet has also, unfortunately, given scammers a new venue to find auto buying and selling victims.
Recently a Darien resident advertised a vehicle for sale online, and once a buyer was located and a deal was reached, a check was mailed for almost twice the amount of the agreed price. The buyer (scammer) sent instructions that the overpayment was to be given to the “transport service” that would be picking up the car.  Thankfully our “would-be victim” saw this as a red flag.  Here is how it works:
 The overpayment scam:
A legitimate seller posts a car for sale. He or she is then contacted by a prospective “buyer” (really a scammer) who offers to send a cashier’s check immediately plus additional funds to cover shipment of the car overseas.

Darien Police Station

Twice in a Week, Men Saying They’re Utility Workers Try to Get into Darien Homes

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If you didn’t ask a utility to send someone over to your home, be suspicious if someone shows up saying he or she is from Aquarion or Experian or Yankee Gas and wants to come in. That just happened twice in a one-week period in Darien. In one case on Fitch Avenue on Nov. 23, an elderly man let a worker in, but he left after the resident asked a question indicating he was suspicious, and nothing is known to be taken. In another case, on Locust Hill Road on Nov.

Essex Gingerbread House

While You’re on Vacation, Don’t Let Burglars in

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An announcement from Darien Police:

Home security tips while you’re on vacation: 

An empty house is a tempting target for a burglar so make sure you do your best to have your home look occupied while you are away:

Ask close friends, family, or neighbors to watch your house. Give them your contact information in case they need to get a hold of you. Never announce your intention on traveling or vacationing blogs, email groups, Facebook, Twitter, or other social networking sites and remember if you check-in on Foursquare or Facebook, everyone knows you aren’t home! Install good locks on the doors and windows and use them. Never leave a house key hidden outside of your home.

Breakers Miami

Five Tips for Avoiding Summer Vacation Scams

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Advice on avoiding summer vacation scams from the Connecticut Better Business Bureau:
Even though many Americans are ready to take some time off and relax, Connecticut Better Business Bureau warns that criminals and con artists are hard at work. The risk of fraud can begin when you are looking for a rental property for your getaway.  Unless you have the help of a reputable realtor or website, you should first confirm that the ad was posted by the property’s owner. It is a reasonable question, because criminals lift photos and descriptions from the internet, post a fake ad pretending they are renting out the property and lure you with very attractive rates. The con artist will ask you to put down a deposit by wire transfer and may even send you a key.  When you show up, you discover the key is fake, and that someone is already living in the property.  This scenario is most commonly found in ads on classified ad sites.


When Someone Claiming to be from Aquarion Water Co. Knocks on Your Door

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To prevent becoming the victim of a crime when a person claiming to be from the water company comes calling (as happened on Thursday), Aquarion Water Co. has some advice for customers. Here’s what a news release (PDF here) issued by the utility on May 29 said:

Aquarion Water Company is reminding customers to take precautions before allowing anyone into their home or business for maintenance, especially when no appointment has been scheduled. Aquarion advises that residents refuse entrance into their home without first seeing photo identification. “Aquarion Water Company employees follow strict protocols when entering customers’ homes and businesses, which include showing the customer an Aquarion photo ID,” said Charles V. Firlotte, Aquarion President and CEO. “We also encourage any customer who is unsure or has concerns to call our Customer Service Department.”

Aquarion Water Company employees and contractors are required to carry company-issued photo identification at all times and to present such identification upon request when entering a customer’s home.


Prevent this Crime: Distraction Burglary

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Here’s a long quote from a news release Darien police issued Friday with advice for preventing a “distraction burglary” — when one person distracts a householder while another sneaks in a home to steal from it (after one such incident happened on Thursday):
Distraction burglary is a crime in which elderly persons are often the targets but not always. The perpetrator seeks to draw a resident out of the house or into the basement on a pretext. While the resident is occupied, an accomplice enters the home and steals valuables such as money and jewelry. Thieves may also take papers with the intent of committing identity theft. In a variation, the accomplice enters the dwelling by a second door while the resident is occupied at the other door. 
To prevent distraction burglary, be suspicious of anyone who comes to your door under any of these guises:

Utility worker
Public official
Door-to-door salesperson
Person asking about a lost pet
Lost person asking for directions
Person asking about working on the property

In the case of someone claiming to be on official business, it’s a good idea to ask for identification, but that can be faked.