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SAFETY TIPS
 
Household Theft

 

While we are fortunate to live in a safe community it is important to remember that this kind of neighbourhood is a perfect target for break-ins and we need to be diligent. As a reminder, a number of cars belonging to Sherwood Forrest residents were broken into on November 24th. The circumstances were varied – one had a window smashed, several were accidently left unlocked, and one contained the garage door opener which was used to rummage through the garage. We know of at least four cars but suspect that there was actually a much larger number throughout our neighbourhood. This might have occurred any time during the late night or early morning hours. It was not limited to one or two streets.

 

During the Annual Meeting, several of the police officers there mentioned that there had been an increased incidence of car break-ins. So with a focus on car break-ins here are several tips to keep in mind:

 

  • Lock all the car doors

  • Make sure that the side entrance to the garage is locked and that the garage entrance into the house is always locked

  • If the car is in the driveway keep the garage opener out of sight

  • Install a car alarm

  • Hide valuables and even loose change out of sight

  • Add motion activated lights around the garage

 

If you do have a break-in, even if nothing of value has been taken report the incident to the police. You can do this by going to 12th division where you will be asked to fill out a report. The police will give you an incident number but more importantly, this might get officers to patrol our community more often.

 
Identity Theft

 

In the last year millions of Canadians became victims of identity theft, a crime that cost them approximately $5 billion total. It is the fastest growing crime in Canada.


-EQUIFAX
 

Identity theft relies on access to your personal data. That personal data includes social insurance numbers, birth dates and addresses. When someone walks down your street they have the first piece of information: your address. All mail delivered to your home, but especially government documents provide some or all of the information required by a fraudster.

 

Two areas that can be easily addressed:

 

Recycle Box and Garbage:

Avoid putting any personal documents in the garbage or recycle box. Shredding machines can be purchased that will provide significant peace of mind when it comes to ridding yourself of old bills, credit card / bank statements and income tax returns.  

 

Delivery of Mail to your house: Secure your mail box; lock it if possible. Know when your bills, financial statements and credit cards are due. Call the company if they do not arrive on schedule. Arrange to have a person you trust, pick up your mail if you are going to be away or go to the Post Office and with proper identification ask for their hold mail service.

 

Tax return time is prime time for fraudsters. Government mail is easily identifiable, and always contains critical personal data. This is a good time to be diligent with what is delivered and what is thrown out.

 

Scam Microsoft Phone Call

 

Several months ago I received a scam Microsoft phone call. It sounded like a help desk in the background. It provided me with a sophisticated explanation of how they knew my computer had viruses. Being involved with technology, I have often given remote access to a help desk to help resolve technical issues and after long discussion I allowed remote access to this Microsoft Technical Support. They had access for 5 minutes and the whole focus was to encourage me to sign up for remote technical support on an annual basis. I hung up, uninstalled a program, rebooted my computer and ran Norton 360 Security programs -and crossed my fingers, while kicking myself.

Police in Canada are warning the public about phone scammers claiming to be Microsoft tech support who are bilking unsuspecting people out of hundreds or even thousands of dollars. It is a four-year-old scam in which people received calls from “Microsoft” or “windows” tech support workers telling them their computer would crash if they didn’t hand over control of the computer to “tech support.” Once scammers “fix” the problem, they charge the computer owner as much as hundreds of dollars.

According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, the scam is now so common that it accounts for 70 per cent of the complaints made to the bureau. Microsoft issued a warning about it last summer,   

The following is Microsoft’s advice:

 

  • Be suspicious of unsolicited calls related to a security problem, even if they claim to represent a respected company.

  • Never provide personal information, such as credit card or bank details, to an unsolicited caller.

  • Do not go to a website, type anything into a computer, install software or follow any other instruction from someone who calls out of the blue.

  • Take the caller’s information down and pass it to the authorities.

  • Use up-to-date versions of Windows and application software.

  • Make sure security updates are installed regularly.

  • Use a strong password and change it regularly.

  • Make sure the firewall is turned on and that antivirus software is installed and up to date.

 

 

Recycling Centres
 

Peel’s Community Recycling Centres accept Household Hazardous Waste only. No institutional, commercial or industrial hazardous waste is accepted as HHW.

 

Acceptable HHW items for drop-off:

  • batteries (all types) including lead acid

  • fluorescent light bulbs/tubes and ballasts

  • mercury thermometers/thermostats

  • propane tanks (18 kg or 40 lbs. max)

  • syringes/needles/lancets (only in biohazard containers)

  • Used cooking oil from home deep fryers

 

NEW – Used cooking oil dropped off by residents is converted to biodiesel fuel for use in Regional vehicles.

There is an 80 l (20 gal.) limit per day on the following items:

  • acids or bases

  • adhesives (all types)

  • aerosol cans

  • antifreeze

  • brake and transmission fluid

  • chlorine

  • cleaners and detergents (full or partially full)

  • used cooking oil

  • fire extinguishers

  • fertilizers and pesticides

  • fuels (gas, kerosene, etc.)

  • medication and pharmaceutical products

  • motor oil and filters

  • paints/stains and solvents

  • photographic chemicals

  • pool chemicals