While Little Falls is a very safe and friendly community, there are many things that individuals can and should do to prevent a wide range of personal and property crimes. Please feel free to call the Police Department directly at 315-823-1123-with any concerns or questions.
Dealing with Contractors
- Never give anyone cash up front to start a job later. A quality contractor will allow you to pay once the job is completed, even for materials.
- Do not pay for materials if you do not see them. Make sure they explain and show you what they purchased.
- Ask for references from people you know and trust. Remember, anyone can put an advertisement in the yellow pages. Talk to friends and family and get a contractor that has already proven their quality works and integrity.
- Get phone numbers, addresses, and alternate phone numbers for your contractor. Call the numbers and make sure they work. Scam contractors will generally give false phone numbers and addresses so you cant get in touch with them after they have scammed you.
- Get a start date and finish date for the job. Make the contractor stick to these dates.
- Don't be afraid to let the contractor know you will contact the police if something does not seem right.
- Don't let the contractor bully you. If they add to the original job or you are not sure if they are being truthful with you about what they are doing, call a friend or relative and ask them. Tell the contractor to hold off for a day and you will get back to them. Check with someone and verify what the contractor is telling you appear legitimate. If the contractor tries to make you give them an answer that day you may want to consider finding a different contractor.
Door to Door Solicitors
The City of Little Falls required all door-to-door solicitors to get a permit from the City Clerk. They also have to check in with the police prior to going out in the community. The police require anyone soliciting to provide photo identification and vehicle information.
- Ask to see their permit. If they say their boss has it, tell them to come back when they have it.
- If they start to pressure you, tell them to leave. If they do not leave, call the police right away.
- Never leave a person alone in your house to get them a glass of water or for any other reason. Make them wait outside and shut the door if you have to go get your purse, call the police, or get them water. Make sure you lock the door while they wait outside.
- Make sure your back door is locked before you open the front door. They will wait for you if they are legitimate salespersons. Most occupied home thefts occur by someone keeping the resident occupied at the front door while someone else enters the residence from another door.
- Do not feel sorry for a student working their way through college. Most of the door-to-door salespeople are not in college but will tell you they are. Purchase only what you need or want, never out of sympathy to the salesperson.
- Whenever in doubt of a salesperson, CALL THE POLICE!!!! let us check them out. If they have followed the rules we will already know they are there and we will assure you they have received the proper approval.
Most identity thefts occur from:
- Stolen wallets and purses containing ID and credit cards
- Stolen mail, both incoming and outgoing. This may include bank and credit card statements, personal checks, tax information, etc.
- Rummaging through trash or dumpster diving
- Intercepted or diverted Internet activity
- Point of sale receipts, such as an ATM or credit card receipt
- Credit card skimming
- Telephone scams
What can you do to prevent being a victim?
- Always keep your credit cards in sight.
- Don't put your social security number on checks
- Guard your mail. Put your outgoing mail in the post office mailbox instead of leaving it in your own mailbox for the mail carrier to pick up.
- If you're going to be away, have someone you trust remove your mail from the mailbox rather than letting it build up, or have the Post Office hold your mail until you return.
- Monitor credit card statements for unauthorized activity.
- Check credit card receipts at point of sale and make sure your full creditcard number is not displayed on the receipt.
- Register with the National Do Not Call registry to prevent some phone solicitors.
- Shred or tear everything containing your personal information.
- Review your credit report annually for any errors.
Identity theft is an increasing problem in today's world of Internet and sophisticated computer capabilities. Although the above tips are intended to offer some safeguards, there are many ways anyone could fall victim to identity theft. The Little Falls Police Department has started a public education campaign at educating its residents in how to protect themselves and what to do if they suspect they are a victim and will soon be offering public seminars on this topic. We also encourage anyone with questions or concerns to call Officer Justin Dibble at (315) 823-1122. Officer Dibble will be conducting the public training and is a wealth of knowledge on this subject matter.
More information on Identity Theft is available at these sites:
If you have any questions regarding identity theft please don't hesitate to contact Little Falls Police Department Sergeant Justin Dibble at 315-823-1123. Sergeant Dibble has worked hard to keep up with current trends in the identity theft arena and is always happy to answer questions from the residents of Little Falls.