The Douglas County Sheriffs Office recommends a few tactics to help reduce the possibility of becoming a crime victim ranging from computer usage to being careful of what is stored in the garage.
Limit online profile information. No matter the website, social networking, dating, or a personal homepage, do not share too much personal information. Stranger’s can use information such as your full name, where you work, the name of your school, or even your school mascot to identify you. Parents should monitor teens’ online profiles and educate them on the dangers of sharing too much online.
If anything in the neighborhood looks suspicious, call 911. Our instincts are usually correct. If something doesn’t seem right in the neighborhood or at school, it probably isn’t. Reporting suspicious activities might help the Sheriff’s Office identify a suspect or a crime trend.
Do not leave outgoing mail in the mailbox. Instead to take it to a drop box or the post office. Identity thieves often cruise neighborhoods looking for incoming and outgoing mail in mailboxes. Checks can be “washed” and used to steal your identity or money. Also, when ordering new checks, have them delivered to your financial institution.
What is stored in the driveway or garage may not be safe. Items can easily be stolen from an unlocked car or an open garage. It only takes seconds to access these areas and steal valuables. Most of these opportunity crimes can be prevented by keeping garages closed and cars locked. And don't leave the car keys in the car — even in your own driveway or garage.
Do not store valuables under the car seat. There are criminals who target areas like fitness centers and shopping centers, watching from the parking lot as people take pains to hide their belongings in the car before going inside. Keep valuables in the trunk or take them with you when you leave your vehicle.
Lock the doors and windows, even while home. Burglars don’t often think strategically about how to access your home; they often take the path of least resistance. If your doors or windows are unlocked and they can easily get inside, they will. If they can’t, they’ll move on to another house. Burglars don’t like well lit areas and motion detector lights. And remember, if a locked car in your driveway has your home’s garage door opener in it, burglars are just one step away from entering.
Limit Divulging Your Account Information. Do not give credit card or bank information to anyone contacting you via e-mail or phone. Your own bank or card company will never contact you and ask you to provide account information. Once a year, run a credit check to be sure you haven’t become the victim of an identity thief.