We’re all very familiar with technology and how evolution has changed the world we live in.

Many changes have happened, for better and for worse, including the types of crimes law enforcement agencies deal with. After all, it wasn’t long ago when cellular phones, home computers and the internet were not everywhere.

Unfortunately, con artists have taken advantage of technology, too, and criminals around the world can easily enter your home. We know it’s important to lock your doors, set the alarm, and pay attention when the dog starts barking but how often does a thief actually knock on the front door of your home?

Well, he or she may not be showing up at your front doorstep but they likely may be visiting your abode daily.

In this week’s edition of “The Amesbury Beat,” I would like to share some information I received via emails from the Institution for Savings and Newburyport Bank.

Having worked for many years to educate the public on crime prevention, police rely on community partners to spread the word.

It’s great to see partners like the Institution and Newburyport Bank sharing tips with customers because they see the consequences of these crimes daily. While not every incident of crime can be prevented, too often victims fail to recognize the warning signs.

Most importantly, never give out your account credentials, account number, PIN, password, online banking login or debit card number. The bank will never contact you for this data or seek to verify your personal information; don’t be fooled by an imposter.

Be careful when encountering unsolicited text messages, popups and links on your email or cell phone. Consumers should avoid clicking on these links as they can easily redirect you to a fraudulent site.

Con artists will often use the words “urgent” and “warning” to capture your attention and money. Stay up to date on your system security• reduce the chances of unauthorized access or a costly virus.

Pay attention to your accounts and frequently check for suspicious activity or fraudulent charges. Consider reaching out to your provider so you are automatically notified of any suspicious charge.

If you have questions, visit or contact your bank or credit card company directly, using the legitimate contact information provided when you subscribed. Lastly, take care of your records; storing documents safely and disposing of them properly.

Your information in the wrong hands can be a stressful and costly experience, which millions of victims face annually. Thankfully, there are many more organizations working to educate the public and reduce crime; avoid becoming a statistic by doing your part to recognize the warning signs.

If you believe your personal information may have been compromised, seek help immediately. It’s a good idea to file a police report in addition to notifying your creditors. Install security on your devices, consult a legitimate professional if needed, use more complex passwords and change them when necessary.


I also wanted to remind readers about the big fundraiser we’ve got planned for Thursday, Aug. 18, from 5 to 9 p.m. at Holy Family Parish Hall on School Street. As you know, we are looking to renovate the Brian Eldredge Memorial Skate Park on Friend Street and want to invite you to Plate & Skate.

It’s an evening of great food from local restaurants, beverages from The Blue Moon and some great raffle and door prizes. I’ll have more details in next week’s column but tickets are $25 each and now available at www.brianeldredgememorialskatepark.com or by calling Donna Eldredge at 978-821-4084.

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