Liars, Scammers and Thieves, Oh My! - Colliers Hill
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Colliers Hill News & Events

Liars, Scammers and Thieves, Oh My!

Just as the holidays bring out the best in us, they also bring out the worst in liars, scammers and thieves, oh my! Sad but true. Cyber con artists step up their efforts during the holidays to take advantage of people’s vulnerability, compassion and generosity. But you can protect yourself against cyber-criminals so no one can steal your identity, scam you out of hard-earned money, or defraud you in the name of charity!

E-Fakery and Hackers

Fake Charities – Unfortunately, fake charities often pop up during the holidays to take advantage of people’s generosity. Social media has become a popular avenue of attack for scammers. We don’t want to discourage support for your favorite charities but thoroughly vet any new ones that ask you for money. Legitimate charities will gladly answer your questions.

E-cards – Holiday e-cards are increasingly popular, but can also contain viruses. Verify them separately with the sender before opening.

Fraudulent Websites – Always look at the address in your browser to verify you’re not accessing a fake website. It’s easy to miss an extra letter in the URL, for example, vs. If you are shopping online, always look for https:// in the URL and avoid making any transactions on http:// (no “s”) sites. Some web browsers will also display a green lock icon next to the address in the address bar if the site is https. If you get an alert from your browser that the site you’re trying to visit may not be safe, close your browser immediately.

WiFi Transactions – WiFi is not as secure as it could be. We should always assume that financial transactions can be eavesdropped over a WiFi network, and that goes triple for public WiFi networks. Visit Tech Crunch for practical tips on protecting your WiFi devices and home router to prevent information/identity theft.

Pop-Ups — If a window pops up promising you cash, bargains, or gift cards in exchange for answering a survey or other questions, close it. Don’t respond. Similarly, don’t respond to popups indicating you need to purchase anti-virus software or software to “clean your infected computer”.  These are all scams.

Auto-saving Passwords – When you’re given the option to save your password during an online purchase, the convenience may not be worth the risk or sharing that “key” to your information. Consider purchasing an inexpensive but secure password manager like one recommended on PC Mag. The Editors’ Choices, Dashlane and Keeper might prevent someone from stealing your passwords — and your identity — as you shop and long after. 

Erie Police: Important Reminders

Since robbers and thieves are both virtual and actual, the Erie Police Department (EPD) recently issued these reminders about protecting your vehicles and homes during the holidays:

  • Criminals like to visit Erie because they know residents are more relaxed about security and often leave their vehicles, residences and valuables unsecured. Don’t make it easy for them.
  • Lock your vehicles and homes and do not leave garage remotes in cars or trucks parked on the street or in the driveway. Take them inside.
  • Never leave valuables (purses, wallets, laptops, cellphones, presents, purchases, money, etc.) in plain view in your vehicle. If you must leave them in the vehicle, lock them in the trunk.
  • If you are a victim of a card theft, cancel your credit cards immediately. If the credit card company alerts you of fraudulent use of your card, ask the company for a specific location and the time. This information will help police in their investigation.
  • We teach children “if you see something, say something.” The EPD urges everyone to follow this dictate and call police immediately at 303-926-2800 if you see something suspicious.

Safe and Happy Holidays in Colliers Hill

We welcome winter holidays in the master-planned community of Colliers Hill and want to help ensure the safety and security – virtual and actual – of every resident and visitor. Stop by and tour one of the 12 amazing model homes offered by Colorado’s top home builders: Meritage Homes, Shea Homes and Richmond American Homes. New homes are available in ranch or two-story designs and priced from the upper $300s to the $600s.