Sunday, February 26, 2017
Powerful storms can knock down tree limbs and power lines, causing the electricity to go out. Treat any downed power lines as “live” and do not touch them. Remember to keep children and pets away from any power lines. Be certain to report any downed power lines or poles to your power company immediately. Call 9-1-1 if you see a wire that is sparking or touching a building.
Only use generators outdoors. The fumes contain carbon monoxide (CO), a colorless, odorless gas that can quickly cause carbon monoxide poisoning and overwhelm you. Follow these generator tips to keep yourself safe:
Make sure your home has working battery powered or electric CO detectors with battery backup.
Read the owner’s manual and follow the directions.
Place the generator outside, well away from doors, windows, and vents. Use manufacturer supplied cords or grounded extension cords.
Generators need ventilation. Never place a working generator in the garage.
Choose an area that is dry. Coming in contact with water can cause electrocution.
Never smoke while fueling a generator.
Add fuel before you turn it on. Turn it off and let it cool down before refueling.
Connect the generator with heavy-duty extension cords designed for outside use. Never use cords that are fraying or broken.
Include a supply of prepared foods in your emergency kit that does not have to be cooked. Only use camp stoves or barbecue grills outdoors.
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Don’t Become a Victim of Internet Romance Scam
The criminals who carry out romance scams are experts at what they do. They spend hours honing their skills and sometimes keep journals on their victims to better understand how to manipulate and exploit them.
“Behind the veil of romance, it’s a criminal enterprise like any other,” said Special Agent Christine Beining. “And once a victim becomes a victim, in that they send money, they will often be placed on what’s called a ‘sucker list,’ ” she said. “Their names and identities are shared with other criminals, and they may be targeted in the future.”
To stay safe online, be careful what you post, because scammers can use that information against you. Always use reputable websites, but assume that con artists are trolling even the most reputable dating and social media sites. If you develop a romantic relationship with someone you meet online, consider the following:
Research the person’s photo and profile using online searches to see if the material has been used elsewhere.
Go slow and ask lots of questions.
Beware if the individual seems too perfect or quickly asks you to leave a dating service or Facebook to go “offline.”
Beware if the individual attempts to isolate you from friends and family or requests inappropriate photos or financial information that could later be used to extort you.
Beware if the individual promises to meet in person but then always comes up with an excuse why he or she can’t. If you haven’t met the person after a few months, for whatever reason, you have good reason to be suspicious.
Never send money to anyone you don’t know personally. “If you don’t know them, don’t send money,” Beining said. “You will see what their true intentions are after that.”
If you suspect an online relationship is a scam, stop all contact immediately. And if you are the victim of a romance scam, file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.