Family Emergency Scams

FTC: Here’s One Kind of Fraud to Warn Your Relatives About This Thanksgiving

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Whether it’s a spare can of cranberry sauce or an extra turkey platter, thoughtful Thanksgiving hosts make contingency plans for the holiday. This year, if the dinner discussion veers into controversial territory — like the pumpkin pie vs. pecan pie debate — here’s a suggested topic of conversation you can have at the ready. — This article is from a post by Lesley Fair on the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Information blog. Fair is an attorney in the FTC Division of Consumer and Business Education.

VIN number Wikimedia Commons

Selling a Car? Get Vehicle History Reports From Vetted Websites. Here’s How:

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The Federal Trade Commission has been hearing about a new scam targeting people who are selling their cars online. They’re getting calls or texts from people who claim to be interested in buying the car — but first want to see a car history report. — This article is from a post on the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Information blog. Colleen Tressler is a consumer information specialist at the FTC. They ask the seller to get the report from a specific website, where the seller needs to enter some information and pay about $20 by credit card for the report.

Night Police Lights CT State Police on Facebook March 30-17 uploaded 06-20-17

Darien Police: If Your Kids Are Drinking, Police May Charge You

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At this time of year, the Darien Police Department typically sees an increase in the number of calls for gatherings where juveniles are consuming alcohol. This increase can be attributed to prom season, the end of the school year, and the return of college students to town. The Darien Police wanted to take this opportunity to remind parents and homeowners about the criminal consequences of allowing the consumption of alcohol by juveniles at their homes. — an announcement from Darien Police

Various social-host and underage-possession charges can be brought against any parent or homeowner who either; actively participates in allowing juveniles to possess or procure alcohol, or passively allows the possession/consumption to take place. Most people are aware that allowing kids to drink in their home is illegal, but many don’t realize that the law allows for charges to be brought in situations where the police feel parents “should” have known underage drinking is a potential.

Bicycles parked Darien Railroad Station Darien Train Station Bikes 09-18-17

Locked and Unloaded: Two Bicycles Stolen in 17 Minutes, One from Each Darien Train Station

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From 11:35 a.m. to 11:52 p.m., a thief removed two bicycles, both locked, from each of Darien’s two train stations, according to surveillance video records, police said. In those 17 minutes, the man stole property valued at a total of $1,400 by the separate owners. Darien police describe the thief as a stocky black male who was wearing a white tee shirt and blue jeans, and with a black backpack. At the Noroton Heights Station
At 7:46 p.m., a man told police that his wife left a bicycle valued at $900 at the station for him to use. She left it there at about 8:30 p.m., secured to a rack by a lock and chain, but it was gone when arrived at the station just before 7:46 p.m.

The surveillance video record indicated the man stole the bike at 11:35 a.m.
At the Darien Station
At 8:19 p.m., police received the second call from a man who said his bike was stolen at the Darien station, where he had left it at 5:30 a.m. and returned to find it missing at 7:30 p.m. He estimated the value of the bicycle at $500.

Darien Police SUV on Road

Phone Scam About a Fake Ransom Targets Darien Woman

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A Darien woman almost became the victim of a phone scammer who demanded money Wednesday morning after telling her that her husband was being held for ransom, Darien police said. Police described what happened with this account:

The caller told the woman that her husband had been in a car accident, along with the caller’s brother, who is a wanted felon and therefore wouldn’t call police. The caller demanded that the woman stay on the phone while heading to a bank to get money that would be transferred to the caller and his brother. Otherwise, the man threatened, the woman’s husband would be killed. On the way to a bank in town, the woman flagged down two Darien police officers.

Tax Return

Avoid Fraud By Filing Taxes Early, With a Qualified Preparer, and Other Tax Tips

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In the wake of a colossal wave of income tax refund fraud over the past several years, Connecticut Better Business Bureau, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services urge taxpayers to file their paperwork as soon as possible, and carefully select a qualified tax preparer. ___________

— an announcement from the Connecticut Better Business Bureau


Both of these measures can expedite processing of your refund and help protect your income tax return information. “Income tax season is stressful for many consumers, and that stress has been heightened by fears that criminals will file taxpayers’ returns and steal their refunds,” says Connecticut Better Business Bureau spokesman Howard Schwartz. “Income tax fraud is essentially an identity theft issue which often begins with a data breach. Even though taxpayers cannot prevent the theft of sensitive information by cyber hackers, there are steps we can take to lessen the chances of becoming a victim.”

The IRS is also warning tax preparers to be on guard against fake clients who attempt to get help with their tax returns, usually by sending an infected email attachment designed to burrow into computer systems housing clients’ personal information. The most effective ways to prevent criminal interception of tax documents and refunds are also the simplest. Returns can be submitted through the computerized eFile system, and refunds can be deposited directly into your bank account. An additional advantage is that these systems can avoid delays and shorten the amount of time it takes to process a return and issue a refund.