New Resources from United States Secret Service Cybercrime Investigations
Combat the Cat Initiative
COMBAT THE CAT: ANTI-THEFT FROM MOTOR VEHICLES
The Winchester Police Department launched the Combat the Cat: Lock it Tight or Risk the Swipe! anti-theft from motor vehicle awareness campaign in November 2018 in response to a rash unauthorized vehicle entries and vehicle break-ins. The WPD's media team created humorous videos to capture the attention of social media followers and remind them to always lock their vehicles, and to never leave items of value in sight. Additional efforts included placing signs in neighborhoods and areas with high retail activity.
From the launch of the Campaign in November through December 31, 2018, the WPD saw a decrease in theft from motor vehicle activity compared to the same time frames in 2017 and 2016.
The City of Winchester received the Silver Circle Award by the City County Communications and Marketing Association (3CMA) for the Combat the Cat: Lock it Tight or Risk the Swipe! campaign.
Featured on WDVM
- Combat the Cat campaign hopes to reduce thefts from cars
- Winchester Police Department's anti-theft campaign efforts pay off
- Police warn drivers of increased vehicle theft during summer
COMBAT THE CAT: PORCH PIRATE EDITION
Combat the Cat: Porch Pirate Edition aims to remind residents that with the increase of online shopping activity and package deliveries during the holiday season comes the increased risk of those packages being taken by "porch pirates." Protect your purchases with these tips:
- Have packages delivered to your work address if possible
- Have packages delivered to a friend or family member's home if they will be home to receive it
- Pick up packages at the local USPS/UPS/FedEx, etc. location
- Install a smart doorbell with a video camera
- Report any theft to the Winchester Police Department
Fight the Fraud Inferno!
SAFEGUARD YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION
- Social Security Number (SSN)
- Bank account numbers
- Credit/debit card numbers
PROTECT YOUR MONEY & BANK ACCOUNTS
- If you are using a payment transfer service such as Zelle, Venmo, or Facebook Messenger Money Transfers, DO NOT use them to transfer money to people who you do not know personally.
- If you receive a text message that asks for your financial information, is finance related, or appears to come from a bank that you do not use, DO NOT respond. If you signed up for text or mobile banking with your own bank, use these services with caution.
- NEVER use your bank account to process a payment for someone.
- Not all websites are legitimate. Ensure that websites for financial services are secure with a website that begins with “https” and shows a lock icon. A best practice is to secure a loan from a bank or legitimate loan service center that you can visit in-person.
BE AWARE OF COMMON SCAMS
To win the lottery, you have to play the lottery. The lottery WILL NOT call you to tell you that you won - you must take your lottery ticket/scratch o/etc. to a business that sells lottery tickets in order to prove that you have won.
Paying money DOES NOT allow you to avoid a warrant. Neither the federal government nor any law enforcement agencies will ever call you to say that they will accept a payment from you to avoid being arrested.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Social Security Administration WILL NOT call you and ask for your Social Security Number or payments, and will not call to threaten your benefits. They will not call you to inform you that your accounts have been compromised and do not monitor for fraud.
Gift cards are only used to make personal purchases, and are NEVER a valid form of payment to a government or business entity.
More Scam Information
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provides information about current scams and how to recognize the warning signs. You can also sign up to receive alerts when new scams are discovered.