Police Department Warns of Vehicle Theft and Scams

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Source: Santa Barbara Police Department

Information Bulletin-Stolen Vehicles

The Santa Barbara Police Department would like to remind the public to lock their vehicles and remove any potential spare keys from visible areas inside or around the vehicle. The Santa Barbara Police Department has investigated 123 vehicle thefts since January 2020, 64 of which were reported since May 2020.

See the below crime prevention tips:

  • Remove valuables from your vehicle and remove hide-a-keys.
  • Do not leave your car running and unattended, even for a short time.
  • Contact the Police if you witness suspicious activity, especially activity in and around parking lots or neighborhoods.
  • When able, park in well-lit areas.
  • Install safety features in your vehicle.
  • Close your windows.

In the event your vehicle is stolen, please contact local law enforcement immediately and provide the year, make, model, and license plate number, as well as a timeframe for the theft of the vehicle. It is important to also contact your vehicle insurance provider to make them aware of the theft.

Scam Awareness

The Santa Barbara Property Crimes Unit would like to remind its citizens to be cautious of various phone and online scams that occur daily throughout our nation. These scams are often internationally based, however will represent a local area code using caller identification spoofing applications. These scam artists often prey on unsuspecting citizens and are persistent with their questions and threats.

Recently, the Santa Barbara Police Department has received reports from concerned citizens of scams in which the caller claimed to be a representative from their financial institution and deceitfully provided instructions to the unsuspecting victims to allow the suspects access to their computer remotely. The victims later realized the suspects were conducting wire transfers from their online accounts. In addition, some of these calls have included requests by the suspects for victims to purchase gift cards to pay “debts” that do not exist.

Please be mindful of such scams and please do not disclose financial information, social security numbers, addresses, or other personal identifying information unless the caller can be verified through other means. If the caller is asking you to purchase gift cards for payments of liens, debts, taxes, etc., the call is scam.

If you are concerned you are victim of a scam, or concerned for a family member or friend, there are various resources available to assist in prevention and federal investigations. The Federal Trade Commission and Federal Bureau of Investigations have the below weblinks to send complaints of scams and/or learn further about various other scams currently being tracked.

Federal Trade Commission website via https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/, and Federal Bureau of Investigation atwww.IC3.gov.

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