Safety, Fraud and Scam Tips
Never pay service fee or charge for anything that is offered “free”. If you haven’t paid for it, you didn’t win it!
Never provide any personal or financial information to someone you do not know.
The IRS and Social Security will contact you via Certified Mail ONLY. They will NEVER call you!
NEVER send someone who has contacted you by phone a pre-paid gift card, Western
Union or wire transfer; they are an untraceable form of payment.
RESOURCES TO CONTACT FOR HELP
Call Tequesta Police Department
(Contact the Credit Bureaus to place a hold on your account)
Secure & Assist Families & Elderly
The Tequesta Police Department has developed a program that is geared towards helping our residents. The program is called S.A.F.E., which stands for Secure and Assist Families and Elderly. Our goal is to obtain proper information (which will be kept confidential) from our residents that have special needs (i.e. Autism, Dementia, Alzheimer’s, PTSD, etc.). With the right information, such as a photograph, a relative’s current phone number, a local address, etc., we can immediately act and ensure their safety. In addition to their safety, we want to make sure they are not taken advantage of, this includes financial crimes. Some tips are below:
Common Types of Fraud
IRS Warrant Scams
IRS calls threatening arrest for non-payment
A letter arrives claiming you won a sum of money without a ticket purchase
Home Repair Scams
Unsolicited home repair company receives a down payment without start of project
Medicare will call asking to update account and request personal identifying information
Credit Card & Bank Fraud
An account opened under your name without your knowledge
Scams Posing As Family Members
A stranger calls stating that a distant family member is in trouble and asks you to wire funds or other forms of untraceable payments.
REMEMBER: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is!
Florida Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles
Guide to Owning Low Speed Vehicles
A low speed vehicle (LSV) is a vehicle with a top speed greater than 20 MPH, but not greater than 25 MPH. LSVs must be registered, titled and insured with personal injury protection (PIP) and property damage liability (PDL) insurance. Any person operating an LSV must have a valid driver license. LSVs may only be operated on streets where the posted speed limit is 35 MPH or less. LSVs must be equipped with the specific required safety equipment. If you have questions, please contact 561-640-6820 for additional information.
Proper Utilization of Bike Lanes and FAQ’s
Now that the orange barrels have been removed and US 1 is complete, some have asked for guidance on proper use of the bike lanes.
- Why is there green paint in the bike lanes?
The Florida Department of Transportation has an “Approved Products List” allowing the use of specific products on their projects. The contractor, from the approved list, selected the green paint.
- Why is only a small section painted green?
Current Florida Department of Transportation standards for state highways only permit the use of green bike lanes at traffic conflict areas, which are defined as locations where:
- The bike lane crosses a right turn lane (as is the case on US-1)
- Traffic in a channelized right turn lane crosses a bike lane
- The bike lane is adjacent to a dedicated bus bay, and
- A bike lane transitions across a free-flow merge lane or lane addition, such as at an interchange
Painting the entire bike lane green is not currently permitted on state roads.
- As you drive south on US 1 and approach the intersection of US1 and Tequesta Drive there is a solid white line and to the right a white line with dashes. During a red light, the first car sits at the light if they want to go straight. What about the following cars? Can they cross over into the bike lane in order to make a right hand turn? OR do they have to wait until the light turns green and traffic begins to flow again before they can make that right? Sometimes though cars are stopped more to the right and other cars cannot pass by in the bike lane.
The double skip stripes do allow vehicles to cross over and occupy the bike lake so that vehicles can cautiously make the right turn onto Tequesta Drive pending there are no bicyclists in the bike lane. Since the bike lane is not the width of a full lane, most motorists should wait for the green signal to make the right turn.
- What are the ‘biking rules”
The biking rules are the same as any other bike lane. Bicyclists must follow all traffic laws such as stopping at red lights at intersections.
- What are the driver rules?
Vehicles should not drive in the bicycle lanes at any location. Where there are broken white lines, vehicles may encroach into the bicycle lane only to make a right turn. Broken white lines occur at driveways, side streets, and approaches to intersections. At all other locations, vehicles may only encroach into the bicycle lane to complete a U-turn, as long as there are no approaching bicycles. Any time a vehicle needs to cross the bicycle lane (to make a right turn onto a side street/driveway, or to cross the green painted area into the right turn lane), drivers must yield to any bicycles in the bicycle lane. This bicycle lane should be treated as any other bicycle lane.
The Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign is a national public awareness campaign aimed at increasing the understanding of cyber threats and empowering the American public to be safer and more secure online. Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility. We each have to do our part to keep the Internet safe. When we all take simple steps to be safer online, it makes using the Internet a more secure experience for everyone.
Access to see more information on how to remain safe while online.
Turbo Tax Scam
Don't be a victim of the Turbo Tax email scam.
Windshield Insurance SCAM
Residents across Duval County are being told to stay on the lookout for crooks going door to door pointing out cracks on resident’s car windshields and then asking those residents for their car insurance information.
According to the Coalition against Insurance Fraud, there are a couple ways the scam can work. Scammers will convince drivers to replace a perfectly good windshield and then lie to the insurance company about unnecessary damages and repairs.
Or crooks will see that a windshield has a nick in it and lie to the insurance company saying that several costly repairs are needed when the windshield could have been repaired at little cost.
In some instances, if given your insurance information, some con artists will charge a victim's auto policy for several damages without the victim being aware of it.
“If you do have a damaged windshield you should contact your insurance company first, and only go with a vendor that your insurance company recommends. Otherwise the insurance company may not even pay for it if you go out and get it done on your own,” Gil Smith, News4Jax Crime and Safety Analyst said.
Click here for the story.
Victim Notification Program
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) is committed to protecting the public and ensuring that the rights of victims are carefully observed. HSI administers a program called "Victim Notification Program" which allows eligible victims and witnesses to obtain reliable and timely information regarding a criminal alien's release from custody. In order to participate, a victim or witness must register with ICE in order to receive notification.
Access the website containing a universal resource locator for the HSI Victim Notification Program.
Help Keep Tequesta and Palm Beach County Roads Safer by Reporting Impaired Drivers
How it works
- If you see an impaired driver - Dial 9-1-1
- Identify yourself as a Mobile Eyes Caller
- If an arrest is made, you will receive a $100 reward
- Your information remains confidential
- Available throughout Palm Beach County
For more information: 561-845-8233
STOP on Red... Kids Ahead
Each illegal passing of a school bus could result in a tragic injury or fatality of a student. The inconvenience of an extra few seconds spent waiting for a stopped bus is insignificant compared to the loss of a child's life.
Florida Motor Vehicle Laws require that motorists STOP upon approaching any school bus which displays its flashing red lights and has its stop signs extended.
Section 316.172, F.S. states that: Drivers who improperly pass a stopped school bus are subject to a citation, a fine for $271 and four points on their driver's license.
25 Ways to Make Kids Safer
Run, Hide, Fight... Safety Video
The City of Houston released a video designed to teach people how to react during a workplace shooting by emphasizing a three-word mantra: run, hide, fight. Here is a link to the video.
Have a Tip to Share with our Detectives?
Use the email address below to share any information:
Send email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Golf Cart Safety
With summer vacation in full swing, kids out of school, and parents at work, it is important for residents to be aware of the importance of golf cart safety.
Click here to read the article, "Golf Cart Safety."
Wireless hotspots connect your computer into the public internet. Since it is for open use, there is not much protection to your data. Click here for tips on using wireless hotspots.
Is your Smartphone or laptop Safe for Resale?
Thinking about selling your smartphone or lap? If you are planning to sell your Android phone or computer running Windows XP, you may want to think again, says McAfee identity theft experts.
Read article "McAfee identity theft expert on which devices are safe to resell."
Medical ID Theft
Medical ID theft is one of the fastest growing types of identify theft and few people know how devastating it can be to your credit and health.
Medical ID theft occurs when a person steals medical information to obtain or pay for health care treatment. It is a crime and can have a serious impact on your personal, financial and medical well being.
Read article "Study: Few Aware of Risk of Medical ID Theft."
Hire Only a Licensed Contractor
The rush to hire a contractor may lead you to hire on dishonest individual. While hiring an unlicensed contractor may provide a quick and less expensive fix in the short term, it could result in may serious and lasting consequences.
Read article "Protect Your Investment... Hire Only Licensed Contractors."
FPL Warns Customers of Online Scam
FPL scam news article
The Tequesta Police Department has put together a check fraud brochure outlining popular check fraud schemes. Be aware - scammers will use all means of delivering you fake checks and unfortunately, bank tellers are unable to determine if the checks are real. Some checks are legitimate business accounts that are altered without their knowledge.
Remember, you are responsible for the checks you deposit. You are in the position to determine the risk. If you deposit the check in your account and the check bounces, you are responsible for the funds you have withdrawn from the account. Don't be a victim! Don't Deposit it! Report it! 561-768-0500
Even though this article relates to real estate title agents, it is a threat that anyone can fall prey to.
The Florida Land Title Association recently reported that one of its title agent members fell victim to a fraud scheme involving a smartphone and the new apps that allow a check to be deposited by using the smartphone's camera. These apps allow you to use your phone camera to take a picture of the front and back of the check and instantly deposit the funds directly to an account.
The agent issued a check for the closing proceeds to the seller. A few hours later, the seller returned to the agent, returned the check, and asked the agent to instead wire the proceeds to his bank account. The agent did not realize that the seller had already deposited the check using the new Smartphone technology.
The agent took the check back, voided it, and wired the proceeds as requested causing a shortage in his trust account.
Protect yourself from this scam by refusing to exchange checks for other forms of payment once they have left your sight and control.
Internet Fraud Schemes
The Internet Crime Compliant Center has issued several alerts, based on information from law enforcement, regarding cyber crime trends and new twists to previously existing scams.
Visit the iC3 (Internet Crime Complaint Center) website detailing schemes for:
- Fraudulent Utility Bill Email
- Businesses Targeted with Email Purportedly from the Better Business Bureau
- Moving Company Scams
- Browser BOT Infection
- HTML Attachments Used to Spread Malware
If you believe you have been a victim of any crime, please call 911 or the Village's Police Department 768-0500.