Concerned About Porch Pirates Pilfering Packages from Your Place? Police Provide These Pointers

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Darien police recently asked the public if they can identify a man caught on camera this past weekend and suspected of stealing a package left in front of a home on Hollow Tree Ridge Road. The problem of “porch pilfering” is longstanding, goes well beyond Darien and could always get worse as the convenient practice of ordering items online and getting home deliveries increases. Here’s some advice. Greenwich Police Department posted these tips on preventing porch piracy Wednesday on Facebook: (with information we’ve added on two places we know of in Darien, besides the Post Office, that will hold packages for you):

Porch pirates are thieves who drive through residential neighborhoods checking front porches for packages that have been delivered but not yet retrieved by their rightful owners. There are several things you can do to prevent it from happening to you:

1 – If possible, have your packages delivered to your workplace instead of your home.

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Two Identity Theft Tricks You Should Know: Spear Phishing and Caller I.D. Spoofing

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“I’m calling from [pick any bank]. Someone’s been using your debit card ending in 2345 at [pick any retailer]. I’ll need to verify your Social Security number — which ends in 8190, right? — and full debit card information so we can stop this unauthorized activity…”

So the caller ID shows the name of your bank. And the caller knows some of your personal details.

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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.

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‘Credit Freeze’ Tool to Protect Yourself Against Identity Thieves Is Now Free

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Two tools you can use to make identity theft less likely have just become available for free today (Friday), Sept. 21, thanks to a new federal law: credit freezes and year-long fraud alerts. Here’s what you should know:

Security freezes, also known as credit freezes, restrict access to your credit file, making it harder for identity thieves to open new accounts in your name. Starting today, you can freeze and unfreeze your credit file for free. You also can get a free freeze for your children who are under 16.

Police: Beware the ‘Publishers Clearing House’ Scam — They’re Taking, Not Giving Money

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Here’s how a certain scam works that’s been offered to people in Darien, as described by a town police announcement on Thursday. Remember, you can’t lose if you don’t play:

The Darien Police Department would like to inform the public about a mail-scam that has been occurring in town. The potential victim is sent what appears to be documentation that they have won a substantial amount of money in the “Publishers Clearing House” sweepstakes. A check is included, and the recipient is instructed to contact the “claim manager” prior to cashing the check and warned not to contact anyone in regards to the prize. The amount the check is made out for is substantially higher than the amount the recipients are supposed to have won.

Gift Cards Jan Mayen Wikimedia Commons

Here’s One Easy-to-Remember Red Flag That You Might Be Getting Scammed

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Has someone asked you to go get a gift card to pay for something? Lots of people have told the Federal Trade Commission they’ve been asked to pay with gift cards — by a caller claiming to be with the IRS, or tech support, or a so-called family member in need. If you’ve gotten a call like this, you know that the caller will then demand the gift card numbers and PIN. And, poof, your money is gone. Scammers are good at convincing people there really is an emergency, so lots of people have made the trip to the Walmart or Target or CVS to buy gift cards to send these callers.

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.

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

Burglars Use Obituaries in Westchester to See When Homes May Be Empty, Greenwich Police Warn

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Greenwich Police are warning residents of a recent trend in Westchester in which thieves use obituaries to see when visiting hours are scheduled in order to target empty homes for burglaries. “Criminals read the newspaper too, to get whatever intelligence they can gather,” said Lt John Slusarz. “Someone passes away, the funeral time is listed. It’s sort of an advertisement that the home will be vacant.”

— This article originally was published by Greenwich Free Press. Slusarz said that in planning a funeral, it is wise to select someone to stay in the home.

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.

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Don’t Buy the Scam. ‘Do Not Call’ Registrations NEVER Expire.

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Someone pretending to be from the FTC is sending out fake emails telling people that their Do Not Call registration is expiring. The emails use the FTC’s logo and send people to a phony Do Not Call website to register their numbers again. Don’t buy it. Do Not Call registrations never expire. Once you add a number to the Do Not Call Registry, you don’t need to register it again — ever.

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.