By Mayor Felix Callicotte
We have good laws on our books and our town code serves us well as a document that is designed to safeguard the public health, safety and welfare. However, without enforcement, it is a meaningless document.
In Clifton, we have an exceptional police force under Chief Omar Negrete’s outstanding leadership and they do a phenomenal job. Clifton’s Police Department works efficiently and effectively having the full support of the Town Council and Town Manager’s office but most importantly, it is our individual commitment to get involved when and where necessary.
Unfortunately, at times when we see or experience the abuse and/or repeated violations of the laws and ordinances that are designed to protect us we tend to look away and hope that someone else will call the police. The task of calling the police is not a rewarding task if the offender is our neighbor or friend, however we have to get involved if we want to maintain the quality of life in our community that we so often take for granted.
To that end, we extend a special thanks to our Chief of Police Omar Negrete, his patrol officers, Sgt. Jason Mingura, Shari Aguilar, Jamie Clark, Joseph Cota, Animal Control Officer Melodee Castaneda and the department’s dispatchers in their exceptional police work that insures Clifton’s well-being.
Avoid becoming a victim of Identity Theft/Fraud:
Identity theft and fraud is a growing problem. Many people across the country have become victims of this crime. The government and consumer advocates recommend these precautions to avoid becoming that victim:
- Do not click on links in unsolicited emails even if they appear to be from a legitimate company or government agency.
- Never reveal personal information, your account numbers, or social security number over the telephone, via email or over the Internet, unless you initiated the contact or know whom you are dealing with.
- Do not include your full birth date on Facebook or any other website. Use the month and day only if you want friends to know your birthday.
- Check your bank and credit-card statements online periodically to check for unauthorized charges. If you find unauthorized purchases in your name, call the police, contact all three major credit reporting agencies and report your case to the Federal Trade Commission. [telephone numbers are below]
- Use direct deposit instead of getting a paycheck by mail. Paychecks contain vital personal information which can be stolen and used for fraudulent purposes.
- Do not respond to calls or emails from banks or other businesses that request your personal information to “update their records.” They are almost always scams.
- Protect your PIN numbers and passwords. Use long passwords that are a mix of upper case and lower case letters, numbers and special characters. Avoid using information that can be easily obtained. (Such as your mother’s maiden name, your birth date, the last four digits of your social security number or your phone number).
- Do not leave your receipts behind or throw them in the trash where thieves can easily retrieve them.
- Shred sensitive financial records and receipts before putting them in the trash or take your records to a business that will shred them for a fee.
Take action if you are a victim:
1) Financial fraud is a crime; call your local police department. [Clifton: 928-865-4145 or 928-865-2555]
2) Contact the fraud units of all three credit bureaus: Trans Union Fraud Assistance Department 800-680-7289, Equifax Fraud Assistance Department 800-525-6285, and Experian Fraud Assistance Department 888-397-3742. Ask them to “flag” your account, which tells creditors that you are a victim of identity fraud. Once your fraud alert is implemented, if someone tries to open up a credit account in your name, the application will be delayed until the information is verified with you. The fraud alert will remain in place for at least 90 days. When this time runs out, you’ll need to reactivate the alert by contacting the credit bureaus.
3) Notify government Agencies: Federal Trade Commission: 877-438-4338, U.S. Postal Inspection Service: postalinspectors.uspis.gov/, Social Security Administration: 800-772-1213
4) Notify your banks. They will help you obtain new account numbers for all of your checking, savings and other accounts. Be sure to pick a new PIN number for your ATM and debit cards.
5) Close all of your credit card accounts and re-open with new account numbers.
6) Finally, maintain a log of all the contacts you make with the authorities regarding the matter. Write down each person’s name, title, and phone number in case you need to re-contact them or refer to them in future correspondence.
The unity of freedom has never relied on uniformity of opinion.
** Take Pride in Clifton! **