Posts Tagged ‘author jennifer chase’

One of the most common questions about crime prevention is about neighborhood watch.  Many people want to know how to start one.  This is a great question.  I think many will be surprised how easy and fun it is to start a neighborhood watch.

First, check out a great website about getting started.  It will give you an overview and some things to think about.  www.USAOnWatch.org/

  • Determine the area you want to organize (the larger the better).
  • Talk to surrounding neighbors and find out how many want to assist and participate (8-10 households is a good number).
  • Set up a free neighborhood watch website to coordinate your efforts.

Here are five basic steps to get you started and motivated:

1. Contact your local police/sheriff’s department to schedule speakers for your neighborhood watch group.  Make sure you pick a location to accommodate your group and presentation (grange, hall, school, etc).

2. Invite your neighbors.  Get a name, phone number, and email list.  Send out flyers about two to three weeks before your presentation meeting and then follow up with a “reminder” a couple of days before.

3. Prepare a neighborhood map.  This map should have the houses, names, and phone numbers of each household.

4. Benefits of the presentation.  You will learn how to develop a plan of action, crime prevention techniques, personal safety, how to report suspicious activity, meet your neighbors and develop a communication network, order neighborhood watch signs, and recruit your coordinator and block captains.

5. Maintaining your neighborhood watch plan.  Keep your plan on track with meetings, neighborhood outings, and a monthly newsletter, website or blog.

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Author Blog: http://authorjenniferchase.com/

Crime Watch Blog: https://emilystonecrimewatch.wordpress.com/

Book & Crime Talk:  http://blogtalkradio.com/jennifer-chase

Books: Compulsion  Dead Game  Dark Mind  Silent Partner  Screenwriting

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The age-old saying, “If it seems to be too good to be true, then it probably is” holds true most of the time.

Has this every happened to you or someone you know?  You receive a call or letter from a so-called broker offering some type of investment tip.  It can actually be a well-scripted, elaborate scam.  First they get your confidence because they state they don’t want any money from you, etc.  Then after the third or fourth phone call or letter, they have a great opportunity with no risk to you for a certain $$$.

In this day and age, money is tight, taxes are high, and budgets are being squeezed.  We all want to make more money to give family and ourselves a little breathing room and some financial freedom.

What should you do?

Here are seven guidelines for staying safe from “would be” scams:

  1. Work with trusted professionals.

Ask for references on any broker or financial group you’re considering investing with and actually call these references.  Make sure that your broker answers all your questions.

  1. Know when to hang up the phone.

Ignore unsolicited calls.  Never give out ANY personal information, even if they say they are representing your bank or credit card company.

  1. Take the time to really look at the proposal.

Don’t make a quick, hasty decision.  Allow it to sit and do your homework.

  1. Watch your credit cards.

Always shred and carefully store any credit card receipts.  Make it a habit to always review your credit card statements each month.

  1. Take a step back and know when you’re the most vulnerable.

If you’re in a vulnerable situation, it can make it easier to fall victim to a scam.  Know exactly what you’re investing in and take the necessary steps outlined above before you act.  Don’t let fear drive your investment.

  1. Be wary of something that you want to hear.

Anyone who is trying to sell something, even the legitimate ones, know how to make a hard sale based on people’s hopes and dreams.  Listen, but make your decision on the entire picture with the “worst case” and “best case” scenarios.

  1. Remember, if it seems to good to be true, it probably is too good to be true.

It’s generally best not to buy on a “hot tip” or when it’s offered to “only a select group of people”.  Do your homework and only make investments that you can afford and afford to lose.

Finally, if you believe that you or anyone you know are being targeted for a scam, REPORT IT immediately to law enforcement.

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Author Blog: http://authorjenniferchase.com/

Crime Watch Blog: https://emilystonecrimewatch.wordpress.com/

Book & Crime Talk:  http://blogtalkradio.com/jennifer-chase

Books: Compulsion  Dead Game  Dark Mind  Silent Partner  Screenwriting

It’s that time of year again – yes, I mean winter.  There are some places that have more of a severe winter than others, but everyone can benefit from a few safety tips for the upcoming season.

 Fireplace Safety

  • Always use seasoned wood to help reduce creosote build up in your chimney.  Creosote is highly combustible and can cause a chimney fire.
  • Fireplace chimneys should be inspected and cleaned annually.
  • NEVER use flammables or combustibles to start fires in your fireplace.
  • ALWAYS dispose of fireplace ashes in metal container and store them away from the house for at least seven days.

 

Carbon Monoxide Safety

  • Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning can be difficult at times to distinguish between having a cold or flu.  If undetected, high levels in the home can cause severe illness or death.  INSTALL an approved Carbon Monoxide (CO) detector within ten feet of every bedroom or sleeping area.  This is a law in many states.
  • Check your Carbon Monoxide (CO) and smoke detectors seasonally or during the daylight savings times.
  • Make sure all fuel-burning appliances are installed properly and working according to manufacture’s guidelines.
  • Have combustion appliances inspected every year.
  • Install an exhaust fan, vented to outside over any gas stove.
  • Never use your cooking stove to heat your home.
  • Don’t sleep in any room with an unvented gas or kerosene space heater.

 

Winter Driving Safety

  • Clear and defrost windows completely before driving.
  • Consider new tires.  Tire tread can improve acceleration, braking, and handling.
  • Remember overpasses, ramps, and bridges will freeze before the roadway.  Drive with caution.
  • Slow down!  Decreasing speed will increase your handling ability and give you an opportunity to avoid most accidents.

Author Blog: http://authorjenniferchase.com/

Crime Watch Blog: https://emilystonecrimewatch.wordpress.com/

Book & Crime Talk:  http://blogtalkradio.com/jennifer-chase

Books: Compulsion  Dead Game  Dark Mind  Silent Partner  Screenwriting

It’s difficult to find someone today who isn’t online surfing the Internet, exchanging email, and participating in online social networks.  It’s incredible to realize how far we’ve come in our technology and communication activities within the past ten years.

With all the great technological advancement, there also comes the more devious aspects to it as well.  Think about how you use your computer and what information you’ve shared.

There are some safety tips that everyone should be familiar with in their online environment to make it the most positive and fun experience.

General Tips:

  • Understand how different networking sites work before you decide to join.  What are the benefits and downfalls?  Know how others will view your pages and your information.
  • Take charge of your profile and use controls over your information and restrictions to your page.
  • Keep your full name, Social Security number, phone number, address, and any banking information private and to yourself.
  • Post ONLY information that you feel comfortable with others seeing and knowing about you.  Take the time to think about this before you post anything.  Remember, you can’t take the information back once it’s posted.
  • Trust your gut instinct if you have any suspicions or if someone threatens you.  Report it to the police.

General Security:

  • Don’t use public or shared computers for online banking transactions.
  • Never give out your account information or passwords.
  • Be cautious about opening any attachment or download from emails regardless of who sent them.  Make sure that you have an up to date virus software, spyware, and firewall on your computer.
  • Delete junk mail without reading it.
  • Don’t “unsubscribe” to unwanted or unsolicited emails.  This just alerts senders that they’ve reached a valid email address.  Don’t sign up for free offers.

Parent Alert Tips: 

  • Teach your children about privacy and personal information.  You can encourage them to post information only with your permission and supervision.
  • Explore the Internet with your children and keep the computer in a common area.
  • Show your children the difference between and advertisement and entertainment.
  • Be aware of places your child is using on the Internet, such as friend’s house or library.  Consider safeguarding options, such as blocking, filtering and monitoring.
  • Discuss with your children if they ever feel threatened or uncomfortable to tell an adult immediately.

Helpful websites for more information:

Federal Trade Commission

www.OnGuardOnline.gov

ConnectSafely

www.connectsafely.org

Cyberbully411

www.cyberbully411.org

GetNetWise

www.getnetwise.org

Internet Keep Safe Coalition

www.iKeepSafe.org

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Author Website & Blog: http://authorjenniferchase.com/

Books on Amazon

It’s the holiday time again!

This is the time where many of us are busy, with not only everyday things, but with shopping, holiday decorating, parties, and much more.  This is also the time where we need to be careful in protecting our families and homes from burglaries, identity theft, and assault. 

The holidays can be a time where potential criminals use it to their advantage because often times we are distracted and staying vigilant.

Here are a few simple reminders for home and shopping safety during the holiday season.

Home Safety

1.                  Be extra cautious about locking ALL windows and doors when you leave the house, even if you’re gone for only a few minutes.  Also, make sure that your windows and doors are properly bolted for added security.

2.                  Be careful of large displays of holiday gifts visible through windows and doors of your home.  This can be too tempting for “would be” burglars.

3.                  If you’re leaving your home for any extended length of time, have a neighbor, friend, or family member keep an eye on your home and pick up newspapers and mail.

4.                  Have indoor and outdoor lights on an automatic timer.

5.                  If possible, leave a radio or television on to give the appearance of an occupied home.

Shopping Safety

1.                  Try to do your holiday shopping during daylight hours, if possible.  If you have to shop at night, go with a friend or family member.

2.                  Dress comfortably and casually, and avoid wearing expensive jewelry.

3.                  Try NOT to carry a purse or wallet, if possible.  Always carry your driver’s license or ID card, checks or credit cards that you plan on using for your shopping excursion.  Try to keep these items in a front pocket. 

4.                  Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.  Try to pay for purchases with a check or credit card whenever possible.

5.                  If your credit card(s) are lost or stolen, notify the credit card issuer immediately.  Also, if it has been stolen, notify the police and file a report.  Make sure to keep a record of ALL your credit card numbers in a safe place at home.

6.                  ALWAYS stay alert to your surroundings.

7.                  Avoid overloading yourself with packages.  Make sure that you have a clear visibility and are able to move around freely.

8.                  Keep packages out of plain view in your car.  Put them in the trunk or out of plain sight.

9.                  Beware of strangers approaching you for ANY reason.  This time of year where there are many “con artists” that will try to distract your attention to take your belongings or money.

Most of all, have a wonderful holiday season with family and friends.

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Blog: www.authorjenniferchase.com/
Website: www.jenniferchase.vpweb.com/
Crime Watch Blog: www.emilystonecrimewatch.wordpress.com/
Book & Crime Talk: www.blogtalkradio.com/jennifer-chase/
Books: Compulsion = Dead Game = Silent Partner = Screenwriting

Citizens Unite! 

If you are a victim of ANY crime – Report It!

If you’re robbed on the street, someone breaks into your house, or you’ve been swindled – Report It! 

It has been reported from law enforcement agencies that one out of every two crimes goes unreported.  It’s either because victims don’t think that the police can do anything about it or they just don’t want to get involved.

It can’t be stressed enough that if crimes go unreported then the criminals are going to continue to operate without any interference.  Reporting ALL crimes will help law enforcement to assign the appropriate number of officers to troubled locations, and information provided by victims and witnesses can lead to the arrest and prosecution of a criminal. 

Your local law enforcement agency needs your help to fight crime.

1.                  Report ALL crimes to your local police department.

2.                  No fact is too trivial.

3.                  Report ANY and ALL suspicious activities in your neighborhood.

4.                  Get help immediately or call 9-1-1.

5.                  If the crime just occurred or is in progress, call 9-1-1.

6.                  Call a doctor, if necessary.

7.                  Call a friend or family member.

8.                  Try to remember ALL details, such as clothing, hair color, vehicle descriptions, identifiable marks or features, etc.

9.                  Try not to destroy any possible evidence.

10.              Keep important emergency and non-emergency numbers available, such as victim’s services, crime stoppers, police department, vehicle abatement, animal control, etc.

For more information about crime and emergencies, please don’t hesitate to contact your local police department or community service officer.

If you’re interested in starting a neighborhood watch:

http://www.usaonwatch.org/

http://www.neighborhoodlink.com/article/Community/Neighborhood_Watch_How_To_Start

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Blog: www.authorjenniferchase.com/
Website: www.jenniferchase.vpweb.com/
Crime Watch Blog: www.emilystonecrimewatch.wordpress.com/
Book & Crime Talk: www.blogtalkradio.com/jennifer-chase/
Books: Compulsion = Dead Game = Silent Partner = Screenwriting

In my novels Compulsion and Dead Game, Emily Stone relentlessly searches down the bad guys.  You could say that she is stalking them in order to bring them to justice.

But what does stalking really mean?

The definition of stalking is the act of following prey stealthily.

Stalking is caused by a chronic obsessive personality.  Anyone can become a victim or a stalker.  It has been estimated that one out of every twelve women will be a victim of a stalker at some point in their lives. 

What happens when someone is stalking another person?  There are stalking laws in place for this type of unwanted attention. 

The California Stalking Law Penal Code Section 646.9  is one of the strongest stalking laws in the country.  No Longer should victims of stalking be turned away by law enforcement and told, “come back when he actually hurts you.”  From 1991 through 1993, stalking was a misdemeanor punishable by only one year in county jail when no restraining order was in place.  Under the current law, a first-time stalker can be sentenced to a felony charge and sentenced to State Prison for up to three years.  If a court or restraining order is in effect, the stalker can be sentenced up to four years in prison or if he has previously been convicted of felony stalking or other related crimes, he could face up to five years in prison.

I’ve had first hand experience of being stalked by someone and it was a life altering experience for me.  I lived next door to a violent sociopath for 2 ½ years that threatened my life weekly, sometimes daily.  The good news is that I turned that unfortunate situation into a positive one by using my experience, or inspiration for lack of a better description, in my fictional writing and that’s how Compulsion came to life.  The bad news was that I had to move and this person continued to stalk me at work and even found my new residence.  Everything finally worked out.  I’m safe now and this person went to jail for a crime of aggravated assault on someone he knew, but unfortunately he’s out free again.

I wanted to share some stalker warning signs.

Stalkers usually have two or more of these personality traits:

1.                  Impulsive

2.                  Obsessive

3.                  Selfish

4.                  Won’t take “NO” for an answer.

5.                  Has few friends.

6.                  Low self-esteem.

In my situation, this person was also highly intelligent, clever, had violent tendencies, had one or two so-called friends that would follow his orders, and he felt that everyone had “wronged” him in some way.

The best approach to stop a stalker is to nip it in the bud, but this isn’t always the simplest approach.

What you can do to STOP the stalker:

1.                  NEVER let the stalker know that he’s having any effect on you.  I know this doesn’t sound easy, but it’s important.

2.                  Make sure you have a Caller ID on your phone.

3.                  If you’re being harassed by phone, make sure that it’s connected to a recorder to gather evidence.  Get a second line (unlisted) for your trusted friends or use a cell phone.

4.                  Have friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers help to shield you.

5.                  Get a camera cell phone (most cell phones have this feature now) and document everything and every encounter with this person.

6.                  Change your schedule to make it more difficult to follow you.

7.                  Drive around the block a couple of times before returning home.  If you are being followed or threatened drive straight to a police station.  Never confront this person alone.

8.                  Plan an escape route in case your stalker enters your home, follows you on foot, or follows you in the car.  It’s important to plan out what you would do in an escape and don’t let anxiety and fear cloud your judgment.

9.                  Find out all your options with restraining orders.  Talk to your local police department and file a report.  Law enforcement is there to help us.  From my own personal experience, the police were helpful and supportive of my situation. 

10.              Contact an attorney or your local police department for more information.

Be safe and alert at ALL times.  Don’t feel like you have to suffer through this alone.  Tell friends, family, and law enforcement.

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Blog: www.authorjenniferchase.com/
Website: www.jenniferchase.vpweb.com/
Crime Watch Blog: www.emilystonecrimewatch.wordpress.com/
Book & Crime Talk: www.blogtalkradio.com/jennifer-chase/
Books: Compulsion = Dead Game = Silent Partner = Screenwriting