Cyber Scammers Often Innovative in Targeting Victims; FPD tips on avoiding high-tech scams & identity theft

Cyber criminals continue to be innovative with methods they use to steal your money and personal information. These criminals use several techniques to fool potential victims.

Cyber thieves are known to send unsolicited email, commonly referred to as spam, which directs the recipient to click on a link contained in the message. That link then takes them to a malicious webpage where software can be unknowingly installed on the victim’s computer and then used to later steal personal information, including credit card numbers and passwords.

Website spoofing is another scamming technique where the user is on what appears to be a legitimate website where they can make a purchase or log in to check their account balance. The spoofed site, however, is collecting whatever information you enter; credit card numbers, user names, and passwords – all later used by thieves to get access to your money.

Cyber scammers often send emails or text messages to unsuspecting consumers, alerting them that there is a problem with their account. When the consumer clicks on the link or calls the number they have been told to call, they are asked to verify their account number, Social Security number, birthday, or even PIN. Your credit card companies and banks already know that information, and would never ask you to verify it if they were the ones to initiate contact with you.

If you receive an unsolicited email, text message, or phone call from a financial institution you actually have an account with, contact them directly to verify the authenticity of the message you receive. When you make contact, however, get the number, web address, or email address from a source other than the communication you have received.

If you have an item posted for sale on the Internet and receive payment from someone through the mail in the form of a money order or check, for more than the amount you are asking, with a follow up email request from the buyer explaining that they have overpaid you, asking that you wire the overage back to them, chances are – you are about to become the victim of another common scam. In this scam, the money order or check the victim receives is later determined to be fraudulent. Many people that fall for this scam do not realize this until they receive notification from their bank that the financial document deposited by them was counterfeit. By then, it is too late because the money has already been wired to the cyber criminal.

Top tips on avoiding a high-tech scam:

  • Never respond to unsolicited email or text messages, and never click on links contained in an unsolicited email.
  • Never open attachments in emails from sources that you do not personally know and trust.
  • Never fill out forms in email messages that ask for personal information.
  • Always log on to an official website by typing the address in yourself, instead of clicking on links contained in unsolicited email.
  • Never wire money to a purported buyer of something you have listed for sale on the Internet.

For more information on eScams,
or if you feel that you have been the victim of an Internet scammer,
go to

The Franklin Police Identity Theft Victim Guide
provides useful information on what you should do
if you suspect you have been the
victim of identity theft.

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DUI suspected after teen crashes through Health Department

IMG_1180A Franklin teen has been released from the hospital after crashing into the Williamson County Health Department, Saturday night.

At 10:55pm, officers were dispatched to 1324 W. Main Street for a report of a vehicle into a building. Arriving officers found the 18-year-old driver unconscious, on the ground. Officers determined that the driver, who was traveling on West Meade Boulevard, left the roadway, drove down the sidewalk, and over a row of mailboxes before crashing into the building.

Damage to the Health Department was significant. Officers report that alcohol was a factor, and charges are forthcoming.

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Felony Lane ‘Gang’ targeting Middle Tennessee; take your purse with you, or they will

Franklin Police are reminding residents, gym goers, park patrons, and moms dropping off kids at daycare not to leave their purses in the car, not even for a minute.

Early Thursday evening, officers began receiving reports of multiple vehicle burglaries at both the Royal Oaks Boulevard YMCA and Winstead Hill Park on Columbia Avenue. A total of six vehicles had their windows Purse in Car IIsmashed in, and purses stolen from inside each of the vehicles. The purses were recovered in nearby dumpsters, with only the checkbooks and driver’s licenses missing. Detectives say the M.O is consistent with the work of a group called the Felony Lane Gang, an organized network of criminals who travel the United States and are currently perpetrating their crimes in middle Tennessee.

The banking industry coined the “Felony Lane Gang” name, because this group of thieves drive through the lane farthest from the bank teller, while using stolen checks and IDs to fraudulently write and cash checks in bank drive throughs. These suspects use the ‘felony lane’ so that the teller will have more difficulty identifying them. The suspects often use wigs and hats to appear more like the person in the stolen driver’s license while visiting the bank.

The Felony Lane Gang is not a gang, but rather a traveling, organized network of criminals originating out of Florida. In most cases, group leaders recruit drug addicts, prostitutes, and transients, renting cars and traveling the U.S., breaking into vehicles. Suspects in this group conduct surveillance in fitness center, park, and daycare parking lots, targeting the vehicles of women who get out of their car without a purse. The suspects then quickly move in, smash the window, and steal the purse that was left behind. Other members of the group then use IDs stolen from some cars to cash checks stolen from others; this often happens shortly after the break-ins.

The best way to safeguard yourself from these criminals is to take your purse in wherever you go. Felony Lane Gang criminals routinely watch for women who put their purse into the trunk, wait until the victim walks away, and then break the window to access the trunk release. So, putting your purse in the trunk is not as safe as most people think.

If you see multiple people sitting inside of a parked vehicle for longer than would be appropriate at that location, or individuals looking in vehicle windows, contact police immediately. Detectives and Flex Officers have developed several strong leads in the Franklin break-ins, and an aggressive investigation and extra police patrols are underway.

Franklin Police & Crime Stoppers are offering a reward of up to $1,000
for any additional information:
(615) 794-4000.

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FrankTalks June 13 to feature ‘Frank Talk by Chief Deborah Faulkner on 21st Century Policing in Historic Franklin’

File_000 (1)City of Franklin Police Chief Deborah Faulkner will be the speaker for Franklin Tomorrow’s Monday, June 13, FrankTalks lecture, presented by Vanderbilt University’s Office of Community, Neighborhood and Government Relations. FrankTalks is a monthly community conversation series that provides an opportunity for Franklin residents to learn, engage, and discuss topics that help shape our community. The event is free, but registration is required.

Chief Faulkner leads the 160 men and women who make up the Franklin Police Department. These dedicated officers and civilian staff serve Franklin customers with a professional, progressive, and responsive approach to modern-day policing. Her topic June 13 will be, “Frank Talk from the Police Chief: 21st Century Policing in Historic Franklin.”

The event will begin at 9 a.m. in Townsend Hall at the
Westhaven Residents’ Club, 401 Cheltenham Ave.
with a 30-minute coffee social and then the program at 9:30 a.m.

Prior to joining the Franklin Police Department in 2014, Chief Faulkner was Tennessee’s first Inspector General. A retired Metropolitan Nashville Police Officer, Faulkner came up through the ranks, serving in Metro’s Patrol Division Faulkner, Deborah (2)and various other assignments before retiring from the Nashville Police Department at the rank of Deputy Chief. She has her bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Memphis; her master’s in Criminal Justice from Middle Tennessee State University; and, her doctorate in Human Development Counseling from Vanderbilt University.

Chief Faulkner is the past President for the Fifty Forward Board, YWCA, and the Susan G. Komen Nashville Affiliate. She has also served on the boards of the Girl Scouts, Goodwill, Catholic Charities, CABLE, and Building Lives of Vets.  Chief Faulkner is a recipient of the Athena Award, and was also inducted into the Academy for Women of Achievement.  She received the Girl Scout’s Volunteer Award, CABLE’s Spirit of Leadership Award, the Molly Todd Cup, and the Fifty Forward Harriet Foley Leadership Award.

The Franklin Police Department is internationally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. For questions about this event, please call (615) 794-0998.

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Two Franklin Teenagers arrested for vandalism of property; Chief’s message: not in our city


Chase Jackson Scoggins

Date of Birth: 08/30/1997

Franklin, TN – Franklin Police arrested two teenagers recently for felony vandalism of property. The two painted graffiti on the side of a retaining wall on Mack Hatcher. One juvenile was arrested on 06/01/2016 and held for court on 06/02/2016. The adult, Chase Jackson Scoggins was arrested on 06/02/2016 and charged with vandalism over $500 and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. His bond was set at $12500 and the court date is 06/16/2016 at 1:00pm.

The Chief’s message to others who wish to deface the city with graffiti is this: “The Franklin Police Department has zero tolerance towards anyone who decides to deface our city. Vandalism is against the law—tag in our town and you will go to jail”

Help Franklin Police catch these thieves; Cash in with Crime Stoppers

Image_1 Image_2

Franklin Police are asking for the public’s help to identify these thieves, wanted for fraudulently using a credit card in the amount of $206.48. The crime was committed on 05/25/2016 at the Sam’s Club, located at 3070 Mallory Lane.

Information leading to an arrest in this case is worth up to $1,000 with an anonymous call to Crime Stoppers: (615) 794-4000

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Not just for Golf, but Definitely not for Unlicensed Teens

Franklin, TN – Now that the summer break has started, Franklin Police want to remind residents that the operation of golf carts on City streets is illegal. Area residents have reported seeing an increase in the number of unlicensed, teen drivers traveling through subdivisions on golf carts and low speed vehicles. In response to those complaints, Franklin Police are increasing patrols and stepping up enforcement to help curb the problem.

Golf Cart (55-1-123): A motor vehicle that is designed and manufactured for operation on a golf course for sporting or recreational purposes and equipped with safety belts installed for use in the left front and right front seats, and that is not capable of exceeding speeds of 20 mph.

  •  Anyone caught operating a golf cart on a City street, except to cross at a 90 degree angle, will be cited.

Low Speed Vehicle (55-1-122): Any 4-wheeled electric or gasoline vehicle, excluding golf carts, whose top speed is greater than 20 mph but not greater than 25 mph including neighborhood electric vehicles. Low speed vehicles must comply with USDOT standards in 49 CFR 571.500.

  •  Anyone caught using a low speed vehicle on a public way must be in compliance with Tennessee child restraint laws; violators will be cited.
  •  Unlicensed drivers caught operating a low speed vehicle on a public way will be cited.
  • Anyone observed operating a modified golf cart that fails to meet each of the requirements in 49 CFR 571.500 will be cited.

Low speed vehicles, registered with the State of Tennessee, may be operated only by licensed drivers, and only on streets with a 35 mph or lower speed limit. Low speed vehicles must be equipped with the following:

  • Headlamps;
  • Front and rear turn signals;
  • Tail lamps;
  • Stop lamps;
  • Red reflectors on both sides and the rear;
  • Mirrors on the driver’s side and either interior or passenger side exterior;
  • Parking brake;
  • A windshield that conforms to the Federal motor vehicle safety standard on glazing materials (49 CFR 571.205);
  • A vehicle identification number that confirms to the requirements of part 565 (Vehicle Identification Number) of this chapter, and
  • A Type 1 or Type 2 seatbelt assembly conforming to Sec. 571.209 of this part, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No., 209, Seat Belt Assemblies, installed at each designated seating position.