Now that the new school year has begun many of our children will be walking to and waiting at bus stops before the sun has risen. Additionally, as we turn our clocks back an hour on Nov. 6th, daylight hours will become shorter, and our neighborhood children will be out playing before dinner time at dusk. Please be extra vigilant and allow yourself more time when driving through our neighborhood in the morning and evening. Remember that children can be unpredictable and may dart out into the street without looking.
Great news! Reported crime in Providence Plantation has dropped 46% YTD when compared to last year.
|Larceny from Auto
|Larceny – Other
|Total Crimes Reported
* Victims and suspects known to each other.
**In one of the vehicle thefts, the vehicle was unlocked and keys were in the vehicle.
As you can see from the chart, fraud made up over 35% of the reported crime this year.
Below are some security and safety tips that can lessen your chances of becoming a victim of fraud:
Shopping Safely Online
Shopping online has become a popular way to purchase items without the hassles of traffic and crowds. However, the Internet has unique risks, so it is important to take steps to protect yourself when shopping online.
Why do online shoppers have to take special precautions?
The Internet offers convenience not available from other shopping outlets. From the comfort of your home, you can search for items from multiple vendors, compare prices with a few mouse clicks, and make purchases without waiting in line. However, the Internet is also convenient for attackers, giving them multiple ways to access the personal and financial information of unsuspecting shoppers. Attackers who are able to obtain this information may use it for their own financial gain, either by making purchases themselves or by selling the information to someone else.
How do attackers target online shoppers?
There are three common ways that attackers can take advantage of online shoppers:
- Creating fraudulent sites and email messages – Unlike traditional shopping, where you know that a store is actually the store it claims to be, attackers can create malicious websites or email messages that appear to be legitimate. Attackers may also misrepresent themselves as charities, especially after natural disasters or during holiday seasons. Attackers create these malicious sites and email messages to try to convince you to supply personal and financial information.
- Intercepting insecure transactions – If a vendor does not use encryption, an attacker may be able to intercept your information as it is transmitted.
- Targeting vulnerable computers – If you do not take steps to protect your computer from viruses or other malicious code, an attacker may be able to gain access to your computer and all of the information on it. It is also important for vendors to protect their computers to prevent attackers from accessing customer databases.
How can you protect yourself?
- Do business with reputable vendors – Before providing any personal or financial information, make sure that you are interacting with a reputable, established vendor. Some attackers may try to trick you by creating malicious websites that appear to be legitimate, so you should verify the legitimacy before supplying any information. (For further info got to https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/tips/ST04-014.) Attackers may obtain a site certificate for a malicious website to appear more authentic, so review the certificate information, particularly the “issued to” information. Locate and note phone numbers and physical addresses of vendors in case there is a problem with your transaction or your bill.
- Make sure your information is being encrypted – Many sites use secure sockets layer (SSL) to encrypt information. Indications that your information will be encrypted include a URL that begins with “https:” instead of “http:” and a padlock icon. If the padlock is closed, the information is encrypted. The location of the icon varies by browser; for example, it may be to the right of the address bar or at the bottom of the window. Some attackers try to trick users by adding a fake padlock icon, so make sure that the icon is in the appropriate location for your browser.
- Be wary of emails requesting information – Attackers may attempt to gather information by sending emails requesting that you confirm purchase or account information. Legitimate businesses will not solicit this type of information through email. Do not provide sensitive information through email. If you receive an unsolicited email from a business, instead of clicking on the provided link, directly log on to the authentic website by typing the address yourself. (For further info go to https://www.us-cert.gov/sites/default/files/publications/emailscams_0905.pdf).
- Use a credit card – There are laws to limit your liability for fraudulent credit card charges, but you may not have the same level of protection for your debit cards. Additionally, because a debit card draws money directly from your bank account, unauthorized charges could leave you with insufficient funds to pay other bills. You can minimize potential damage by using a single, low-limit credit card to making all of your online purchases. Also use a credit card when using a payment gateway such as PayPal, Google Wallet, or Apple Pay.
- Check your shopping app settings – Look for apps that tell you what they do with your data and how they keep it secure. Keep in mind that there is no legal limit on your liability with money stored in a shopping app (For further info go to http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0515-apps-help-you-shop-stores) or on a gift card. Unless otherwise stated under the terms of service, you are responsible for all charges made through your shopping app.
- Check your statements – Keep a record of your purchases and copies of confirmation pages, and compare them to your bank statements. If there is a discrepancy, report it immediately. (Further info go to https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/tips/ST05-019.)
- If you are a victim of a fraud call the following three national credit-reporting organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name and Social Security number.
Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742
Trans Union: 1-800-680-7289.
Instead of signing up for expensive services that monitor your credit records for identity theft, do it yourself for free. You can now get a free copy of your credit reports from each of the three bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) every 12 months. Stagger your requests with each of the three bureaus so you get one report every four months. Review each one carefully for errors or unauthorized charges. Note due to COVID 19 each of the three bureaus now offer free weekly online credit reports.
Here is a link to crime prevention tips from the CMPD: https://charlottenc.gov/CMPD/Safety/Pages/Safety-Tips.aspx
Weddington Rd – I-485 Construction Update
The following information was obtained on August 12, 2022
Girders for the 1st section of the new bridge over I-485 will be installed over the next 2 days.
Once the 1st section is completely constructed, traffic on Weddington Rd. will be diverted onto the new bridge and the old bridge will be removed.
Construction of the 2nd part of the new bridge will then begin and it will be tied into the 1st section.
Construction at our Weddington Rd. entrance will not begin until mid-2023.
As we have experienced numerous times since the original construction plan was made public, NCDOT has revised the plan. This affects the south end of the project near the intersection of Weddington and McKee roads. A traffic study at the intersection revealed that original plan underestimated the amount of traffic that will occur at the intersection once the project is completed.
NCDOT is in the process of negotiating the purchase of additional land near the intersection.
It is important to report all incidents of crime to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. For crimes in progress and other emergencies, dial 911. For non-emergencies, and past crimes, call 311.
You can also report the following past crimes using the Online Reporting System; Larceny, Harassing Phone Calls, Theft from Auto, or Property Damage. You can do so at: http://www.charmeckpolice.org/CRU/start-report.html or by a link from http://www.cmpd.org
Also, please notify me at 849-9234, between 9am and 9pm, or you can e-mail me at email@example.com
Stay healthy and stay safe!