Holiday scam prevention tips, from our friends at Age Well Middle Tennessee

(Courtesy Age Well Middle Tennessee)

While we shop and cook and hang holiday lights, scammers are busy looking for their next targets. The Better Business Bureau has issued a list of scams to be on the lookout for during the holiday season and tips on how to keep yourself from being the next victim.

  1. Online Shopping: Most stores have switched to chip reading credit card machines to reduce the risk of fraud and skimming. However, scammers are now focusing their efforts online. To protect yourself and your money, financial experts recommend using a credit card instead of a debit card when making online purchases.
  2. Lookalike Websites: It’s very easy for scammers to mimic real websites.  Look for the HTTPS and lock symbol at the top of the webpage; the “s” stands for secure. Also, look at the spelling of the web address. It is extremely easy for tricksters to change or add an extra letter to make it look legitimate.
  3. Fake Shipping Notifications: This scam is used with different techniques. You may receive an email with attachments or links that could download malware to your computer to steal your personal information. You could also receive a nondescript postcard where you are instructed to call the number on the card which could lead to you revealing private information and/or when the house is vacant. Don’t fall for it!
  4. Phony Charities: Scammers like to take advantage of the holiday spirit by using fake charity solicitations in your email, by phone, and on social media sites. You can verify charities at www.give.orgor https://givingmatters.civicore.com/.
  5. Temporary Holiday Jobs: A lot of companies need additional help during the holidays. Steer clear of job postings that ask you to share personal information or pay for job leads.
  6. Emergency Scams: Be extremely skeptical if you receive a call from a “relative” saying they have been arrested, kidnapped, or hospitalized while traveling. Never send money unless you can verify the information with another family member first.
  7. Letters from Santa: There are several reputable companies that offer personalized letters from Santa Claus; however, scammers like to use this as a way to obtain personal and financial information from parents and grandparents.
  8. Unusual Forms of Payment: Be wary of anyone asking for prepaid debit cards, gift cards, wire transfers, etc. as a form of payment. These transactions cannot be traced or refunded.
  9. Travel Scams: Use caution when searching for travel bargains. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  10. Social Media Gift Exchange: It sounds fun to purchase one gift and receive so much more in return; however, this holiday “fun” is actually a pyramid scheme, which is illegal.
  11. Gift Card Scams: Gift cards are always a great idea for the holidays. Just remember to be vigilant. Avoid gift cards displayed in the open. If you choose one that is in a package, inspect the package or open it in front of the cashier to ensure it has not been replaced with a phony. Keep your receipt and register the card online with a new PIN (if possible).
  12. Online Pet Shopping: During the holidays a lot of people look for the perfect gift which could be a pet. Be skeptical of online pet sales. You might receive a pet from a “puppy mill” which could increase the likelihood of poor health, or you may receive nothing at all.

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Caught in the act: Franklin Police arrest 2, recover 26 stolen catalytic converters

Police in Franklin have stopped two catalytic converter thieves in their tracks.

Officers interrupted an in-progress theft last week in the CoolSprings Galleria parking lot. Laquetta Eugene, 44, of Houston, TX, and 32-year-old Chesare Rivers of Memphis were arrested on September 30. Officers spotted Rivers under a car with an electric saw, and moved in. After they did, they discovered 26 catalytic converters in the car Eugene was driving. All of them appear to have been cut off of victim’s vehicles, and detectives are hoping to identify some of those victims.

Cars missing a catalytic converter will have a loud roaring sound, especially when accelerating. Criminals who steal catalytic converters are hoping to cash in on up to $800 on the black market. The high value is due to precious metals like platinum and rhodium that are used to make them.

If your catalytic converter was stolen in the past couple of weeks, Franklin Police want to hear from you. Victims can contact Franklin PD Criminal Investigations at (615) 791-3237.

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Crime Stoppers cash offered for ID of thief who stole thousands in fragrances

 

Franklin Police are hoping someone from the community might recognize this suspect. On September 10, he stole nearly $2,000 in fragrances from the CoolSprings Galleria Ulta. The suspect left in a waiting black sedan, possibly a Toyota Corolla.

There is a cash reward for information

Call Crime Stoppers:
(615) 794-4000
or click to submit an anonymous eTip
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URGENT: Franklin / Williamson County Communication Outage

The widespread Nashville area communications outage has impacted most of Williamson County 9-1-1 lines and many of the non-emergency numbers used to reach public safety organizations throughout the county.

For police, fire, or medical assistance call: (615) 790-5550 

AT&T customers and others experiencing a cellular outage may be able to utilize their mobile phone to place calls and to send and receive text messages while connected to WiFi. To activate WiFi calling, follow the instructions below:

 iPhone Users:

  1. Be sure you are connected to a working WiFi network
  2. Go to settings and click “Cellular”
  3. Click on “Wi-Fi Calling”
  4. Slide “Wi-Fi Calling on This iPhone” to ON
  5. Click “Enable” Wi-Fi Calling
  6. Follow the prompts to enter your home address and then click “Verify address. or confirm”

Android Users:

  1. Pull down the notification shade and long-press the Wi-Fi icon to enter Wi-Fi settings.
  2. Scroll to the bottom and select “Wi-Fi Preferences”.
  3. Tap “Advanced”.
  4. Select Wi-Fi Calling and flip the switch to “On”.

If you have a monitored burglar, fire, or medical alarm – your alarm may not currently notify emergency responders. The only reliable way to currently request police, fire, or medical assistance in most of Williamson County is by calling: (615) 790-5550.

For updates, visit https://tn-williamsoncountyops.civicplus.com/340/Williamson-County-Communications-Outage

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Franklin PD investigating copper theft case

Franklin Police are seeking information on a case involving a building under construction at 4000 Rush Street. Sometime over this past weekend, someone cut several electrical wires in what appears to have been an attempt to steal copper. The contractor is estimating rewiring and other damage costs at more than $200,000.

This is a busy area near an apartment complex, condominiums, and several businesses, so police are hoping that someone may remember seeing something that could help solve the case. There is a cash reward for information.

Call Crime Stoppers:
(615) 794-4000
or click to submit an anonymous eTip
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Cash reward offered for ID of Franklin porch pirate

Detectives are trying to track down a porch pirate who stole packages from the front porches of two Franklin homes on August 30. Home security cameras captured these images of the suspect and his car. There is a cash reward for information in the case.  

Recognize him?
Call Crime Stoppers: (615) 794-4000
or click to submit an anonymous eTip
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Franklin Police Department Receives 7th Accreditation; Professional, Progressive, Responsive: Franklin Police

The Franklin Police Department is proud to announce that it was awarded its seventh reaccreditation by The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.  In October, a team of assessors conducted an in-depth inspection of the Franklin Police Department, examining all aspects of its policies and procedures, management, operations, and support services. Accredited agencies are recognized as having attained professional excellence in public safety.

“The CALEA Accreditation process is the gold standard for law enforcement agencies,” said Deborah Faulkner, Chief of Police.  “It is a tool that promotes community trust, excellent policy development, it promotes transparency and continuous review of police procedures.  We believe the accreditation process makes us the best we can be—our community deserves nothing less than our best.  We are extremely proud of this recognition.”

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Franklin Police Detective celebrated for 27 years of service; Detective Darren Barnes to retire, Friday

Franklin Police Detective Darren Barnes, a Williamson County native, began his 27-year career with the City of Franklin in 1992 as a police dispatcher, reserve police officer, and volunteer firefighter. In 1993, Barnes transferred to the Patrol Division as a full-time Franklin Police Officer. During his 15 years on patrol, he served as Field Training Officer, a member of the Department’s Community Oriented Policing Unit and Community Action Team. Barnes also served as a Crisis Negotiator. Soon after his promotion to Detective in 2007, Barnes was assigned to the FBI’s Violent Crime and Gang Task Force, where he investigated serious violent crimes, tracking down dangerous gang members and fugitives. After returning to the Franklin Police Department in 2019, Detective Barnes was assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division, Major Crime Unit.

His distinguished career includes recognitions for excellence in both crime-fighting and community service. Detective Barnes is a three-time recipient of the United States Attorney Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement. In 2007, he received the Hope Award for his role in providing and installing an air conditioner for a Franklin resident in need. Detective Barnes is the Franklin Police Department’s 2014 Detective of the Year.

“Detective Darren Barnes has served the Franklin Police Department for over 27 years with professionalism, pride, dedication, and courage,” said Chief Deborah Faulkner. “He has worked tirelessly to protect our citizens. He has many friends at the FPD and will be greatly missed by all of us.”

Colleagues, friends, and citizens can leave their sentiments and well-wishes for Detective Barnes by posting them in our Leave a Reply field, below. 

Franklin Police investigating after woman assaulted and robbed

Police in Franklin are investigating after a woman was attacked and robbed outside a Cool Springs business late Tuesday morning.

At 10:40 am, officers were summoned to 730 Cool Springs Boulevard after the suspect punched and slapped the victim in the parking lot as she was gathering belongings from her car. He stole her purse and then used the victim’s stolen credit cards at nearby stores.

Recognize him? There’s a cash reward for information.
Call Crime Stoppers:
(615) 794-4000
or click to submit an anonymous eTip
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