Crime Prevention: Scam and theft trends (12/29)

December 29, 2020

Here's a look at some of the common crimes and scams to look out for in the last week of 2020.

Stimulus check scams

"Stimulus Check" Scams:

A second round of economic impact payments or "stimulus checks" were just announced. The IRS will use the exact same methods as the first round to get you your money, direct deposit or by mail. Here are scams to watch for:

  • Don't pay to get your money. Scammers may try to convince you to pay to get your check or pay so you can get your check faster.
  • Don't click unexpected links. If you get a text, email, phone call, social media message asking you to provide personal or financial information.  Or links in emails and texts about claiming or receiving a stimulus check.  Or attachments with “special information” about payments, returns, etc.
  • Watch for the wording. The IRS said that the official term is "economic impact payment," and scammers will likely say "stimulus check" or "stimulus payment" instead.

If you have any questions about your economic impact payment, check out the websites below.

Holiday gifts

Trash Surveillance:

Christmas is over and you've probably opened all of your gifts. Make sure you're not showing off all the nice items you received to criminals!

  • Don’t pile up empty boxes at the curb. Don't just leave all your valuable gifts out, like laptops, computers, game systems, etc., for the trash or recycle pick up. This advertises your new, expensive merchandise to someone looking to steal valuable items.
  • Break it down. The boxes or cut them up so they fit in your trash or recycle container.
  • Time it out. Consider putting out the trash in the morning instead of leaving it out overnight.
Avoid Gym Theft

Gym Theft:

Headed to the gym in 2021? So are thieves. BPD has responded to at least three reports of theft at gyms recently. Here are some safety tips to avoid it.

  • Lock it. Always use a gym locker and dependable lock when storing items such as wallets, car keys, or clothing.  Even if you don’t plan on staying very long, lock up and secure all items!
  • Hide it. If you plan on leaving valuables locked in your vehicle, make sure they are not in plain sight.  Place purses or wallets in a glove compartment or trunk to deter thieves from breaking into your car.
  • Keep it. The best practice is to leave valuable items at home if not absolutely needed.

For more tips about recent scam and crime trends click here.

Contact: Boise Police Media Relations

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