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Self-Protection: Avoid Becoming a Crime Victim
Safety Brochures and Flyers
Situational Safety Tips
No matter where you are, be aware. Study these safety tips to get an idea of how to protect yourself regardless of the situation.
- Be especially cautious around BART stations. Thieves tend to look for victims there.
- Try not to walk alone at night near stations. Try to walk with people from the BART station to your car.
Avoid making phone calls while on BART or the bus. If you must make a call, go sit near the driver and stay there.
- If someone looks suspicious or makes you feel uneasy, avoid that person. Go inside a store or business if necessary.
- Call the OPD Non-Emergency Number - (510) 777-3333 - to report suspicious persons.
- If you must make a call while you are walking, go to a safe, public place like a store. Make your call; then conceal your phone the way you would conceal your cash before going back to the street.
- When leaving your car, lock it and close the windows. Take your key. Don't leave items inside the car even if you think they look like trash—they'll still look attractive to a thief.
- Before you get in your car, look around. Someone may be following you.
- When you get in the car, close and lock the doors immediately. Keep the doors locked and the windows rolled up.
- If you must make a call while driving, pull over and keep an eye on who is near your car.
- If you think you are being followed, do not go home. Instead, drive to the police station, a mall, or someplace with other people.
If you see someone who makes you uneasy when you are exiting or unloading your car, walking from your car to your home, or spending time in your front yard, follow these precautions:
- If you are in the front yard, quickly go inside and lock the doors.
- If you are in a car, stay in the car with locked doors and windows. Either use your cell phone to call someone to escort you inside, or drive away and come back later.
- Never, ever open your door to anyone you do not know.
- Use ATMs in well-lighted, populated areas. Indoor ATMs at stores or banks are safest.
- Scan the area before using the ATM. If you see a person loitering in the area for no apparent reason, go to another location.
- If you see anything strange during your transaction, cancel your transaction, take your card, and leave the area.
- After the transaction, be alert. You'll have cash in hand, making you a possible target. Scan the area. Leave immediately.
- If you suspect danger, promptly enter the nearest store or building.
Guard Your Credit Cards and Monitor Your Accounts
Guard Your Credit Cards
- Thieves use "skimmers" to steal information off the magnetic strips on credit cards.
- Do not let your card out of your sight. When dining out, carry it to the cashier yourself.
- Don't use debit cards. They do not protect you or your bank account from theft.
Monitor Your Wallet or Purse
- Know what's in it. Keep a xerox of the contents in a safe place so you can quickly call creditors if your wallet or purse is stolen.
- Do not ever carry your social security card in your wallet or puse.
- Don't carry what you don't need. Weed through periodically and take out what you don't use.
- Don't carry all your credit cards in your wallet or purse. (This will slim your silhouette, too!)
Keep an Eye on Your Bank Accounts
- If you know how much you have in your accounts, you'll notice if someone skims anything from your account.
Be Cyber Wise
- Make sure you have anti-virus softward on your computer and update it at least once a year.
- Delete email if you don't recognize the sender.
- Do not open attachments unless they are from people you trust.
- Do not let your computer remember your passwords.