Today’s biggest threats (that are not the virus)


By Steve Klingler - Guest columnist



Pandemic Crimes

Property crime continues to be down in most places — especially acts against private residences. But the initial dip in violent crime has normalized across much of the country. There are threats you should be aware of so you can take steps to protect yourself and your family. Children who are home from school and spending more time online may be at increased risk for exploitation.

But some new criminal activities are rearing their heads. Here are crimes that seem to be growing as we settle into months of social distancing:

• Civil disobedience in the face of state and city restrictions;

• Package theft;

• Speeding;

• Surges in the opioid epidemic.

• Assault on medical workers and law enforcement (usually through coughing, spitting, or sneezing)

Crimes that continue to be problematic during the pandemic are:

• Burglary of commercial businesses and homes left vacant;

• Domestic and family violence;

• Hate crimes;

• Vehicle theft;

• Financial scams;

• Price gouging.

Domestic violence If you or someone you know is the victim of domestic abuse, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline online or at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). Calls are free, confidential, and offer support in more than 200 languages.

New scam alert!

Anyone can be targeted by hackers and scammers. Unemployment claims are the latest government program to fall victim to coronavirus scammers. States have lost millions of dollars to the unscrupulous fraudsters preying on the millions of Americans who have been put out of work during the pandemic.

Possibly the only thing as pervasive as the novel coronavirus is the unending stream of scams targeting you when you’re are most vulnerable. Don’t give the scammers any victories as they prey on the fallout of a pandemic. Here’s what to look out for.

Charity scams

There has been a spike in emails, texts, and phone calls soliciting donations for phony charity organizations and others claiming to represent the World Health Organization (WHO) or the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

• Don’t respond to these messages.

• Don’t click on any links.

• Don’t provide any personal information.

Say It Here®is the easiest and fastest way to safely report crime anonymously. Sidney-Shelby Crime Stoppers 492-TIPS (8477).

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By Steve Klingler

Guest columnist

Steve Klingler is a Sidney-Shelby Crime Stoppers board member. Crime Stoppers is a diverse group of individuals working with local law enforcement officials to hand out rewards for information. Say It Here®is the easiest and fastest way to safely report crime anonymously. Sidney-Shelby Crime Stoppers 492-TIPS (8477)

Steve Klingler is a Sidney-Shelby Crime Stoppers board member. Crime Stoppers is a diverse group of individuals working with local law enforcement officials to hand out rewards for information. Say It Here®is the easiest and fastest way to safely report crime anonymously. Sidney-Shelby Crime Stoppers 492-TIPS (8477)