Precinct 5 PENS March 2023
Welcome to this month’s PENS, Police Email Notification System, bulletin. This monthly bulletin is brought to you from the Cobb County Police, Precinct 5 Criminal Investigations Unit (CIU5) and is designed to keep you aware of safety alerts and crime trends in your area and measures you can take to keep you and your family safe.
Public Safety Topic of the Month
Steps to Avoid Tax-Return Identity Theft
- Leave Social Security card at home: The thief uses your stolen SSN to file a fraudulent tax return early in tax season before you're likely to file and then pockets the refund.
- Keep Social Security Number private: Provide your SSN to others only when absolutely necessary—don’t give it out just because a business asks for it or over email. Also, check your Social Security Administration earnings statement annually to make sure all your information is accurate.
- Strong Passwords: You don't have to be tech-savvy to protect your accounts from hackers. Start by choosing a strong, unique password for each financial site you use, such as online banking or brokerage accounts. Don't have your computer automatically save passwords, especially on work computers, and change passwords regularly.
- Protect against computer spam and viruses: Take advantage of the security software updates your operating system offers and make it a habit to use a firewall and anti-spam and anti-virus software.
- Keep financial information private: Be wary of providing personal information over the phone or through the mail. Unless you have initiated the contact or you are sure you know the person you're talking to, it's better just to say no.
- Beware of Phishing: Phishing is a term for online scams that use official-looking emails that seem to come from the IRS or your bank, but actually are from thieves seeking your SSN, bank account information or passwords. The IRS won't call you to tell you that you owe taxes. They will send you a letter.
- Shred bank and Tax documents: Consider your tax documents, receipts and bank statements as potential trapdoors that allow entrance into your personal life. If you want to dispose of these financial documents safely, shred them.
Lock up your mailbox: Getting a locking mailbox can prevent someone from checking to see what mail you've received. Since letters may contain private financial information, a locking mailbox can also help to prevent identity theft.
What You Can Do to Prevent Theft
- Lock your doors, including the one from the garage.
- Keep garage doors closed--check before bed every night.
- Use motion sensor-activated lighting.
- Use surveillance cameras.
Entering Auto Prevention
- Lock your vehicles and remove items of value and items that appear to contain valuables.
- If you can’t keep them with you, secure your valuables in the trunk before reaching your location.
- Keep your vehicle locked and your purse or wallet on your person while fueling at the gas station.
- Use anti-theft mailboxes with a special locking system.
- Use security cameras.
- Do not raise the mail flag.
- Do not send cash, checks, or anything that has credit card information.
Remember to CALL 911 to report any suspicious persons or activity. If you see something, say something!
Cobb County Camera Registry
The Cobb County Police Camera Registration program is a police/community video partnership that operates on a voluntary basis with homeowners, neighborhoods and business owners who own private video surveillance systems. We encourage both businesses and residents to register their cameras online by completing the form below.
This program is intended to let our officers know where cameras are active in the county in case a crime occurs. It is not intended for active surveillance, and officers will not have direct access to homeowners' cameras. Those who register a camera will be contacted if a crime occurs in the vicinity of that camera.
Information provided by residents and businesses will be maintained in a secure database.
If you have not already signed up to receive the monthly PENS updates, please subscribe. Feel free to forward this e-mail to your HOA members and local businesses.
PENS is also sending out bulletins and alerts through its partnership with Nextdoor.com. Discover if your neighborhood is already signed up so you may join. If not, they will provide you with the necessary information.
Det. Lieutenant P.M. Kincade
Det. Sergeant J.T. Rainwater
Cobb County Police Department
Criminal Investigation Unit Pct. 5
4640 Dallas Highway
Powder Springs, GA 30127