Do it Yourself Crime Prevention Guide
When criminals violate our homes and communities, we lose more than belongings, we lose our freedom – the freedom to feel safe walking city streets after dark, going to a park alone, or letting our children walk home from school. We even lose the ability to feel secure in our own homes. And the Lake Forest Park Police Department, no matter how effective, can't protect us completely.
Click here for the Do it Yourself Crime Prevention Guide
Home Security Checklist
We can't always get back what crime takes away. But we can take back our freedom to feel safe. This “Do It Yourself” handbook gives us the tools we need to ensure greater security for ourselves and our families. Do your part: Go over the checklists on burglary prevention, personal safety, and child safety, and make the recommended changes.
Click here for the Home Security Checklist.
Crime Watch is a program staffed by volunteers who check homes of residents who are out of town. Lake Forest Park Police Department sponsors this free service. To sign up for a vacation house check, fill out a Crime Watch Vacation House Check Form. Completed forms must be returned to Lake Forest Park Police Department.
Crime Watch Volunteers
The Crime Watch program depends on volunteers. Each volunteer is assigned a partner, both of whom will go out together in a city vehicle to check the houses of those residents who have submitted the Vacation House Check Form. Being a Crime Watch volunteer not only benefits our community, but also the individuals who volunteer. It is a way to become more acquainted with your neighbors, as well as an opportunity to learn how to navigate the complicated road system in Lake Forest Park. Signing up to participate requires both a background check and a credit check. If accepted, you will have at least one outing with the program director to learn how the submitted vacation house check forms are managed, as well as the proper procedure to check a house.
The Vacation House Check link provides some details on how a house check is performed. Each volunteer will be partnered with another volunteer, once a week. All the houses on the list are checked, as well as several parks and schools. The time required to do this is typically two hours. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please contact our director, Casey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tips on Avoiding Fraudulent Charitable Contribution Schemes
Recently several natural disasters, including tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes, have devastated lives and property. In the wake of these events that have caused emotional distress and great monetary loss to numerous victims, individuals across the nation often feel a desire to help these victims, frequently through monetary donations.
These disasters prompt individuals with criminal intent to solicit contributions purportedly for a charitable organization or a good cause. Therefore, before making a donation of any kind, consumers should adhere to certain guidelines, to include the following:
- Attempt to verify the legitimacy of the non-profit status of the organization by using various Internet-based resources, which also may assist in confirming the actual existence of the organization.
- Be cautious of emails claiming to contain pictures in attached files, as the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders.
- Be skeptical of individuals representing themselves as officials soliciting via email for donations.
- Do not click on links contained within an unsolicited email.
- Do not provide personal or financial information to anyone who solicits contributions: providing such information may compromise your identity and make you vulnerable to identity theft.
- Do not respond to unsolicited (SPAM) email.
- To ensure contributions are received and used for intended purposes, make contributions directly to known organizations rather than relying on others to make the donation on your behalf.
- Validate the legitimacy of the organization by directly accessing the recognized charity or aid organization's website rather than following an alleged link to the site.
If you believe you have been a victim of a charity related scheme, contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud by telephone at (866) 720-5721, or by fax at (225) 334-4707, or by email. You can also report suspicious email solicitations or fraudulent websites to the Internet Crime Complaint Center.
National Center for Disaster Fraud
The National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) was originally established by the Department of Justice to investigate, prosecute, and deter fraud in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Its mission has expanded to include suspected fraud from any natural or man-made disaster. More than 20 federal agencies, including the FBI, participate in the NCDF, allowing it to act as a centralized clearinghouse of information related to relief fraud.