Fall 2017 District Newsletter
Between May and July of this year, credit reporting company Equifax had a data breach. Reportedly up to 143 million of us have had our personal information compromised-- including our Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and even credit card numbers.
What should we do to protect ourselves? The Federal Trade Commission has several suggestions listed on their blog. Here are a few of the things you can do, regardless of whether or not your information was compromised:
You can obtain a free credit report through annualcreditreport.com. You may request one free credit report from each credit reporting agency per year. Be sure to check the report for any accounts that do not belong to you.
There are numerous other credit monitoring services available for a fee. Be sure to research all the services that are provided before deciding which company to use.
You can consider putting a credit freeze on your credit report. A credit freeze will prevent any company from checking your credit report until you "unfreeze" or "thaw" the report. Be aware that there can be a fee charged every time you freeze or unfreeze an account. If you don't open credit accounts often, this may be a cheaper option than paying for a credit monitoring service. Be aware that you must contact each credit report company separately for the credit freeze.
It is also important to check your accounts routinely for fraudulent charges. If you find any fraudulent charges on your account, contact your bank immediately to let them know that the account has been compromised.
You should file your taxes as early as possible. The sooner you file your taxes, the less chance that a criminal has to use your Social Security number to get a fraudulent tax refund. If a fraudulent return is filed before you file your taxes, your tax refund will be delayed.
If you do find that your identity has been stolen and used fraudulently, visit identitytheft.gov for information on how to fix the problem.
Commander Chris Hall
Via Linda District Commander
Making safer roads in a 'roundabout' way
You may have noticed all the construction along 90th Street between Shea Boulevard and Mountain View Road. This work includes installation of a new roundabout in front of the Mustang Library. The city already has several roundabouts, including ones at Hayden Road and Northsight Boulevard and along Cactus Road. Future roundabouts will be added along Raintree Boulevard.
The city of Scottsdale has the following tips for driving in a roundabout:
- As you approach a roundabout, prepare to reduce your speed to 15 to 25 miles per hour. Road design and signage will encourage you and those around you to drive at a slow, uniform speed.
- As you approach a roundabout, slow down, look left and expect to stop. If there is no traffic in the roundabout or there is a wide enough gap between cars, a stop is not required. Most important, remember that entering traffic must yield to vehicles already in the roundabout.
- As you approach a double-lane roundabout, look for lane markings in the road and choose the appropriate lane depending on where you want to go. Just like at a signalized intersection, don't expect to be able to turn left from a right turn lane.
- Don't change lanes in a multi-lane roundabout. If you need to exit and you find yourself in the inside lane, just go around the roundabout again. It will only add a few seconds to your trip.
For more information about roundabouts, including debunking roundabout myths, please visit our website.
Holiday charity donations
It is the time of year to be giving! Whether it be a New Year?s resolution or holiday spirit, people seem to be in the mood to give. Unfortunately, criminals see this as an opportunity to take advantage of good-willed people. Be cautious of scammers posing as charity organizations in order to take your money. These fake organizations will use a name that is similar to a big or well-known charity to confuse you into thinking your money is going to a good place. Always verify the organization you are donating to is legitimate. Do not let telemarketers pressure you into donating and ask questions. The individual collecting your donation should know what the organization is about and how your donation will affect the organization. When in doubt do not provide your information over the phone, contact the organization of your choosing on your own accord to donate.
Protect your bicycles
The windows are open on the house and you?re enjoying the nice cool weather. As we start to spend more time outside we wanted to share a few tips on keeping your bike secure so you do not have report it stolen.
- Bike locks are going to be the main key to keeping your bike secure. We recommend a lock that is not going to be cut easily. A larger lock provides better security. If you have invested in a high-valued bike, then please don?t leave it with a low-cost lock. We recommend looking at U-locks as your primary lock and using cable locks for additional security.
- For maximum security, your lock should wrap around the bike's frame. If you have expensive wheels with quick-release attachments you can remove them and lock them with the U-lock together.
- The combination of a U-lock and long cable provides the most secure and versatile way to lock up every major part of your bike.
- Lock your bike to an enclosed object that won't let the lock slip off. Ideally, use a bike rack, if available. If you must use a free-standing pole, such as a parking meter or sign post, be sure that it's high enough or bulky enough that your bike and lock can't just be lifted right over the top. Respect private property and don't block access to doors, stairways, sidewalks, wheelchair ramps, etc.
- Choosing a good location to leave your bike unattended can be a trade-off situation. If you choose a secluded, out-of-the way location, then it might be less likely to be noticed. However, a secluded location provides a thief a better place to work on taking your bike without being noticed.
- Find the serial number of your bicycle, and make a note of it in your records. Keep a picture of the bike with your records, too. The serial number of a bike is usually stamped on the underside of the bottom bracket shell--this is the part of the bike frame where the pedals connect. If necessary, ask your local bike shop for help in locating your serial number. Most shops also include the serial number on your original purchase receipt.
- Register your bike and keep good records. A couple of good sites are Project 529 and My Asset Tag.
We hope that these tips provide you with a nice ride and keep you rolling right along. Stay safe and make sure you have your reflective gear and lights while riding at night.
Rules of the road
Arizona Revised Statute 28-751 addresses several issues related to making turns while driving. The law states that when turning right at an intersection (or from a private driveway), you must turn into the farthest-most right lane. When turning left at an intersection (or from a private driveway), you must turn into the farthest-most left lane.
The statute also addresses the use of two-way left turn lanes. These lanes are designed for left turns or u-turns for either direction of traffic. The lane is to be used "if preparing for or making a left turn from or into the roadway." Drivers are not allowed to use this lane to accelerate in order to merge into traffic.
Police body cameras
In the latest edition of our Behind the Badge video, Chief Alan Rodbell and Community Liaison Chris Vassall discuss the use of body cameras in the Scottsdale Police Department.
To watch previous episodes of Behind the Badge, just visit the SPD YouTube page.
"Shred It" events
Don't be a potential victim of identity theft. Protect your identity by attending a "Shred It" event. Bring your personal and/or commercial documents to be shredded from 7 to 10 a.m. on the day of the event at the Walmart parking lot, 15355 N. Northsight Blvd. Upcoming dates, all Saturdays, are Oct. 7, Nov. 4 and Dec. 7. Cost is $3 per box.
Electronics Recycling Collection Day
Recycle your old electronics equipment, including computers, TVs and phones. Our next electronics recycling event will be from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, at the North Corp Yard at 9191 E. San Salvador Drive. Find out all the items that can be recycled.