Arm Yourself with Education - Don't get Scammed!
Big Red Flag: You Must Act Now!
Scammers want to instill fear. It might be fear of arrest, the fear of getting your power shut off, or fear of missing out on an incredible opportunity, award, or investment. They try to convince you time is of the essence! If they demand you act now, don’t fall for it!
Big Red Flag: Send a Bizarre Form of Payment
Some scammers ask you to make restitution in the form of gift cards, instruct you to send cash tucked in a magazine, or wire money to an odd location. If it doesn’t make sense, don’t do it!
Big Red Flag: We Paid you Too Much, so Send us the Difference!
Did you get a check in the mail you weren’t expecting? Sometimes scammers will contact you and say they accidentally gave you too much. They instruct you to deposit the (worthless) check and pay them the difference. By the time your bank tells you the check bounced, they’ve already taken your money!
Big Red Flag: Strange Email Address
Depending on what software you use, a sender’s email address might display two things: the address (e.g. email@example.com) and/or a username (e.g. John Doe). Scammers are sneaky. They might impersonate someone you frequently communicate or conduct business with. They might mimic your associate’s email address, changing only one character (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org), while keeping the same username. At a glance, you might not notice this discrepancy. They’ll ask you to make a change, like sending money to a new or different account.
Overview of Common Scams
Fraudulent Real Estate Listings
These are sometimes posted to sites like Craigslist or via social media. They might even include a legitimate address and name of a legitimate realtor or agency. Once contacted, the scammer will likely ask for a deposit or some other form of payment. They might even offer a bank account to wire or deposit the payment into. Do some research! Be informed!
The Arrested Relative
Some scammers call and pretend to represent a law enforcement entity, and say that one of your relatives was arrested in a random jurisdiction. Sometimes, they even impersonate that relative over the phone. They ask for bail money, court fees, claim they have to pay fines. Sometimes they even threaten to arrest you or say there is a warrant for your arrest!
IRS/Social Security Administration
Scammers might impersonate any one of these (or other) companies and agencies. They threaten you with consequences if a mistake or oversight is not corrected immediately. Be aware that the Internal Revenue Service and Social Security Administration would never contact you by phone or by email. They make it clear they always correspond through the U.S. Mail.
Scammers try to make you believe you are receiving some sort of inheritance or prize but in order to collect, you need to prepay fees or taxes. Does it sound fishy? It’s probably a scam.
There's a Problem with your Computer
Some scammers claim over the phone there’s an issue with your computer. They ask you to log on and then tease information out of you while you’re trying to help them ‘fix’ the problem. They may ask you for your password, or other personal information. Don’t fall for it! Nobody is going to call you and tell you there's a problem with your computer. If you have ever actually experienced problems with your computer, you know it's YOU who needs to reach out for help to fix it.
Tips and Prevention
DON'T RUSH. It's okay to tell callers that you are going to verify the information they provided and call them back.
DON'T TRUST the information the caller provides to you. If they claim to be your credit card company and provide a callback number, tell them you're going to verify the information and give them a call back. Then take the time to look up ACTUAL customer service number for your credit card company (on the back of your card) and call that number to verify whether the call you received was legitimate. Even if you receive a call from someone claiming to be with the BIPD and they need to ask for personal information regarding a case, explain that you are going to verify the information and give them a call back. Then call the station number and verify.
DON'T BE AFRAID to get a second opinion. If you’re ever unsure, call your bank using a number you verified yourself, or contact local law enforcement. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for their opinion!
DON'T GIVE AWAY YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION! If someone claims to be calling from your bank and they ask for personal information, hang up. If it really is your bank, they already have that information on file.
DON'T HESITATE TO REPORT having been scammed. There's nothing to be embarrassed about. It happens to many, many smart people. If scamming didn’t work, scammers wouldn’t make any money and would move on to more fruitful endeavors. If you can help stop someone who scammed you, you might be sparing someone else the same heartache. Whether or not you decide to report locally, please go to www.ic3.gov and report there. It's the website used by the FBI to identify and track scams. When they pick up on a pattern of criminal activity, they are better equipped to act.
Virtual Town Hall on Public Safety
Thanks to everyone who was able to join Chief Clark for the virtual Town Hall on Public Safety September 30. There were a great number of thoughtful and important questions, and your input is greatly appreciated. As a reminder, if you'd like to touch base with Chief Clark about items that were discussed during the presentation or on any other topic, please feel free to drop him a line.
If you missed the presentation, you can view it here.
If you are just interested in viewing the slides, they are available here.
Chief Clark on Policy
Good policy is the foundation for public safety operations. It is a critical component that ensures fairness, consistency, and provides guidance for police response. BIPD policies are based on national standards and best practices, comply with state and federal laws, and comply with court rulings. Our policy manual is continuously reviewed and updated and the practices of the department are reviewed for compliance with those policies.
In response to requests from the members of the Bainbridge community, here’s a link to BIPD’s policies. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions or want more information.
Joseph N. Clark, Jr. - Chief of Police
Message from the Chief
We at the City of Bainbridge Island join with the nation in grieving the loss of Mr. George Floyd. We stand strongly against bias and racism in any form, and we respect and support those who are peacefully speaking out to make their voices known at this time. Please see the message from Chief of Police Joe Clark to the community here: https://www.bainbridgewa.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=643
Meet new Chief of Police Joe Clark!
Scam Alert - Unemployment Fraud
There is currently a crime wave involving fraudsters filing for unemployment benefits using the identities of others. If you have become a victim, BIPD recommends taking the following steps:
• File a police report using the CopLogic system online, accessed through www.kitsap911.org
• File a report with the Employment Security Department through https://esd.wa.gov/unemployment/unemployment-benefits-fraud
• File a report with the FBI through www.ic3.gov/default.aspx
• File a report with the Federal Trade Commission through https://identitytheft.gov/
• Notify the credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax, TransUnion)
Need to renew your Concealed Pistol License?
There is a special process now in place for the convenience of those who need to renew a Concealed Pistol License (CPL) during the current lobby closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Please review the following instructions:
- In order to renew through the BIPD, you must be a resident of Bainbridge Island.
- Per RCW 9.41.070, a CPL holder may submit a renewal application up to 90 days in advance of its expiration, or up to 90 days after its expiration (which is then considered a late renewal and costs an additional $10).
- A link to the CPL renewal application is available below. You can also request an application by contacting email@example.com.
- When you send in your renewal application, please include a copy of your current driver’s license, a copy of your current CPL if you have it, and a check or money order payble to COBI for the amount due (provided below). You may also phone the department at (206) 842-5211 to pay by credit card. Office hours are Monday through Friday 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
- Submit via U.S. Mail to: BIPD, 625 Winslow Way E, BI, WA 98110
- Don’t forget to indicate your return address so we can mail your CPL renewal back to you!
CPL Renewal Fee - $32 (when received up to 90 days prior to current CPL expiration date).
Late Renewal Fee - $42 (when received up to 90 days after current CPL expiration date).
If you are not a Bainbridge Island resident, please apply for your concealed weapon permit at the law enforcement agency in your city of residence. Those residing in unincorporated Kitsap County should visit the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office.
Stay Home, Stay Healthy!
To comply with the extension of Governor Inslee’s ’Stay Home, Stay Healthy’ directive, the police station lobby will remain closed to the public through at least May 31. Rest assured, however, that police officers are still on duty 24/7.
If you need to report a crime or speak to an officer for any reason, please call 911. For other questions or assistance, you may call the station office at 206-842-5211. Our office staff is available to answer your calls between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. If you get our voice mail during this time, please leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
The following police services have been suspended, canceled, or otherwise disrupted until further notice:
1. The drug drop box for old medications in the police station lobby is closed.
2. The police ride-along program is suspended (this includes marine ride-alongs).
3. The Community Police Academy is canceled.
4. Fingerprinting services are suspended until further notice.
5. Concealed weapon permit applications will be deferred until April 30th. Those already in progress will be completed and delivered to the recipient.
6. To the furthest extent possible, 911 calls for service will be conducted via phone or online through the CopLogic service.
7. Civil standbys and ‘keep the peace’ type calls will not be performed unless in accordance with a court order.
Other police services will continue to be provided as much as possible, but please be aware that there may be delays, and we ask for your patience and flexibility regarding the delivery of those services.
For more information about what the City is doing in response to COVID-19, please visit:
Please report cyber-scams to the FBI
The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) accepts online cybercrime complaints from either the actual victim or from a third party to the complainant. Be prepared with as much of the following information as possible before filing your complaint:
- Victim's name, address, telephone, and email
- Financial transaction information (e.g., account information, transaction date, dollar amount, and who received the money)
- Subject's name, address, telephone, email, website, and IP address
- Specific details on how you were victimized
- Email header(s)
- Any other relevant information you believe is necessary to support your complaint
Do you have a crime tip?
Do you have information that could help solve crime? If so, we want to hear from you! Please consider taking a moment to REPORT your tip (you may remain anonymous if you choose to do so). Thank you in advance for helping us keep the community safe by putting criminals out of business!
Stay Informed! Sign up for Nixle Notifications!
Do you know about Nixle? It's a free notification system used by the Bainbridge Island Police Department and many other law enforcement agencies nationwide to advise subscribers of road closures and detours due to vehicle collisions or other emergent issues. Sign up today on the Nixle website and get real time updates on your cell phone, email, or both. It's free!