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Victim Services

Safety Tips

  • Walk with purpose and confidence. Look around, be familiar of your surroundings
  • Wear comfortable shoes
  • Remain on well lit streets, walking in the centre of the walkway, away from bushes, shrubs, doorways and parked vehicles. If you feel uncomfortable, cross the street or stay clear of an area.
  • If you suspect someone is following you, look directly at the suspicious person to let the individual know that you are aware of his/her presence. Do not walk to your residence or vehicle. Walk directly to a business or convenience store, anyplace that has people around, and summon assistance.
  • Transfer valuables such as credit cards, cheques, cash and identification to a small wallet or something similar and carry this on your person, either in your pocket, jacket pocket, or fanny pack.

If you are attacked:

  • Do not freeze and do not panic
  • Attempt to get somebody's attention by yelling something like "Fire"' "No" or "Stop". Assailants do not like attention so this may discourage them. Be very loud and persistent.
  • Responding to an attack will be different for every individual. Use whatever force you feel is necessary to escape. Be ready and take action to get away.
  • Use a personal alarm device.

Motor Vehicle Safety

  • Do not identify your keys with vehicle license plate numbers, names or addresses.
  • Carry personal safety devices, preferably on the key chain. Use of a personal safety device will attract attention should you be accosted in any manner.
  • Make sure your vehicle is in good repair. Never operate your vehicle with very little gas left. Tires should be inflated to recommended levels.
  • Park in well-lit areas and in sight of other businesses, in case you have to return to your vehicle in the dark. In underground parkades, park as close to the exit or the attendant as possible.
  • Always lock your vehicle and keep the windows tightly closed, even while driving, to avoid an individual reaching in and grabbing belongings off the seats.
  • When approaching your locked vehicle, make sure you have the appropriate key ready to unlock the door. Look inside before unlocking and entering the vehicle.
  • Never roll your window down more than one inch when speaking with someone who approaches your vehicle.
  • If you feel uncomfortable, just drive away.

Telemarketing Fraud

HANG UP ON FRAUD! Tips to Avoid Becoming a Victim of Telemarketing Fraud

Telemarketing fraud can happen to anybody. Your family, friends and neighbours could become victims of telemarketing fraud. It is not an isolated or individual crime. It affects all of us. Millions of dollars are taken from Manitobans every year in relation to telemarketing fraud.

Victims of telemarketing fraud are often embarrassed and ashamed. That is exactly what the criminals want. When people are embarrassed or ashamed, they are reluctant to tell anyone about the crime, giving the criminals additional time to victimize even more people. Being embarrassed shouldn't stop you from reporting this crime to police. The sooner a telemarketing fraud is reported to police, the sooner the criminals can be stopped.

Heads up!
  • Don't disclose personal information about your bank accounts, credit cards or address over the telephone.
  • Don't be afraid to hang up.
  • Don't be afraid to ask for documentation to verify a product or investment. But remember, even the unscrupulous have professionally prepared literature, catalogues and invoices.
  • Don't be pressured into making a decision. Any legitimate gift or prize will still be available tomorrow.
  • Do take the time to call a friend, relative, banker or a police agency before making a decision to send money.
  • Do call the police to report any suspicious phone calls or mailings.
  • Do take the opportunity to ask the caller questions about their offer or promotion. No legitimate company will refuse your inquiries.
  • Do ask for literature so you can read about the company before making a commitment.
  • Do ask the company for references from other customers who live in your area.
BE ON GUARD FOR CALLERS WITH THE FOLLOWING OFFERS:
  1. Car pitch - "You have won a car, but money is required up front for taxes, shipping, insurance, etc."
  2. Cash pitch - "You have won cash, but must pay taxes, brokerage fees, etc., before the money can be released."
  3. Free gift pitch - "You have won a prize, but in order to claim it, you must purchase another product" (usually poor quality and overpriced).

WARNING - If you have really won a prize, it doesn't cost you a dime, nor do you have to purchase a product to claim a prize.

If you believe you have been a victim of this type of fraud, you may contact PhoneBusters at 1-888-495-8501 or by going to their website, at www.phonebusters.com. They also provide a list there of current 'scams' that are active. Keep yourself well informed, it's the best line of defense!

Victim Assistance

If you are a victim of fraud or any other crime, contact the Victim Services Unit of the Brandon Police Service at (204) 729-2335. They offer support, information and referral services and will assist you through the criminal justice system.

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Victim Services