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Fraud Prevention

Fraud Prevention

The mission of the Sunny Isles Beach Police Department is always to reduce crime and maintain the safety of our residents and guests. We often see people become victimized by crimes of opportunity which otherwise could have been averted. The first step in preventing these crimes is being aware of the different types of fraud criminals use to target you. The next step is using caution to keep yourself and your family safe. Don’t be a victim. Follow these steps to prevent fraud.

Identify Theft

Warning Signs

  • Your bank account is overdrawn or there is unusual activity on your credit card
  • Mail you are expecting does not arrive, especially related to financial matters: bills you paid are still showing due
  • You apply for a credit card or loan and are denied
  • Your purse or wallet is lost or stolen

Preventative Steps

  • Carry a close-fitting or hidden pouch instead of a purse or carry a wallet in your front pocket
  • Reduce the items you carry in public, such as extra credit cards, Social Security cards and checkbooks
  • Shred (using a cross-cut shredder) all mail and documents that contain Social Security, bank and credit card numbers or any vital information
  • Ask that new boxes of checks be held at your bank rather than mailed to you

Caregiver Fraud

Warning Signs

  • Unusual activity in bank and credit card accounts
  • Caregiver tries to isolate the victim who comes to rely solely on the caregiver
  • Caregiver has total control over finances and has all financial statements mailed to him or her
  • New acquaintances appear on the scene and the adult is either completely charmed or fearful of the caregiver

Preventative Steps

  • If your caregiver, relative, neighbor, or anyone else suggests you make a change in your assets, investments or insurance, always get two or three other opinions from other relatives or advisors. Only a potential crook will not want you to discuss the change with others.
  • No matter how much you know, love or trust someone, never sign documents you have not read or do not understand
  • Even if you have a representative payee, Power of Attorney or other advisor who manages your finances, insist on receiving and reviewing copies of all bank and financial statements

Fraud Prevention Checklist

  • Do not carry your Social Security card
  • Deposit all outgoing mail inside Post Office rather than placing in your mailbox
  • Use a cross-cut shredder on all financial mail and documents
  • Get a free copy of your credit report once a year
  • Do not talk to strangers on the phone, at your door, or on the street
  • Sign up for the National DO NOT CALL Registry
  • Do not give out personal information such as address, card numbers, social security number, or address without properly verifying caller
  • Do Not Send Wireless money: For an emergency situation that you have not personally confirmed.
  • Delete email from any unknown source asking for personal information
  • Do not give pins and/or passwords
  • Do not lend credit cards to unknown persons
  • Do not email credit/debit card numbers
  • Protect Medicare /Insurance cards like a credit card
  • Do not leave purse/bags in carts unattended
  • After a large purchase such as a camera, television, etc, take them home, do not leave them in your car
  • Do not exchange cash for someone in a store offering to give you a gift card
  • Do not exchange cash with anyone for a (so-called) winning Lottery ticket that they cannot claim