Apple AirTag Warning

The Apple Air Tag. It’s super small and very lightweight. Why would this be a concern? Because, it makes it quite easy to attach to almost anything without being detected. It also doesn’t cost much. You can buy one of these for about $30.00, which makes it too easy for bad guys to track your whereabouts, including your car, your home, and anywhere you go.

Most recently, model Brooks Nader says someone dropped an Apple AirTag in her coat pocket while she was at a crowded bar and used it to track her location. When she was almost home, a notification popped up on her phone alerting her to the fact that an unknown accessory had been detected and was tracking her. Whoever put the device in her coat could track her every move.

The AirTag links to a cell phone through the Find my app. Initially, it was designed to help you track your things, but now its being linked to concerns about privacy and safety.

AirTag Car Thefts
Law enforcement agencies have put out warnings across the country to let people know that these AirTags can be used to track cars, which allows criminals to steal the vehicle once they are parked.

What should you do if you find an AirTag on you?
If you find one of these devices or you get an alert on your cell phone, don’t go home! That could let the bad guys know where you live. Instead go to your local police department or a public space, and call the non-emergency police line from there. Ask them to come out and investigate. Each AirTag has a serial number that can help track who owns it.

Technology. It’s getting better and better and scarier and scarier.

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Porch Pirate Theft on The Rise

Shopping online has never been more convenient. It’s fast, affordable, and reliable. But, porch pirate thieves are out there searching neighborhoods and watching for deliveries to be left on front porches, so that they can run up and steal packages.

Try these tips to ensure that your packages make inside your home!

Turn on your porch light!
As we all know, bad guys prefer the dark. They don’t want you to turn your lights on outside. But you must! It’s a natural deterrent, because you can see them and hopefully, so can your neighbors and/or passersby’s.

Install a Video Doorbell
Criminals don’t want to be caught on camera. So, just knowing that your home is equipped with a doorbell cam might dissuade a bag guy from choosing your home. Typically, video doorbells will alert you when a person, animal, or thing is detected. You’ll get an alert inside your home and on your smart device, so that you’ll know when a delivery person drops off a package (or when a porch pirate is lingering).

Request a Signature
This is usually an option depending on the type of item you are having delivered. Delivery companies such as FedEx and UPS will wait until someone answers the door and signs for the package rather than leave your shipment by your door.

Ship Packages Elsewhere
Consider having your package delivered to your job or your neighbors house who you know will be home. You can also send them directly to a mail center, such as a UPS Store. This way your items will be held in a P.O. Box until you can get there to pick it up. Retail stores will also allow you to ship items directly to their store when you are ordering their products. It’s typically free and you can pick it up onsite.

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Happy Holidays from the Public Safety Assistance Foundation!

We hope your holidays will be filled with joy and laughter through the New Year!

Our office will be closed on the following days, so that our staff can spend time with their loved ones:

Friday, December 24, 2021
Monday, December 27, 2021
Friday, December 31, 2021
Monday, January 3, 2022

We appreciate your patience during this time and we will respond to your email inquiries upon our return.

Wishing you a wonderful holiday season!

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How to Keep Holiday Gatherings SAFE!

This holiday season is not like last year – thank goodness! This year, we all have masks. We have access to a COVID vaccination. We have access to a COVID booster. And we have data that proves that these are our best tools to protect ourselves and our family members from getting sick with COVID-19.


Up your mask game! Doctors and health professionals are recommending that we trade in our cloth masks for a higher level N95 or KN95 mask. Especially if you are spending time in crowded areas such as airports, trains, or concerts to name a few.

Ventilation is key! Consider investing in an air purifier. If you can’t, try and hold your family events outdoors. Or at the very least open your windows to keep the air flow circulating throughout your home.

Rapid At-Home COVID Tests. They are easy to use and sold in pharmacies and grocery stores. The cost range is $10.00-$30.00 and you can get the results in about 15 minutes.

In the end, be upfront with your family members and friends about what they can expect at your home or event. Be firm, polite, and direct. This way, people can make their own informed decisions, because you’ve been as transparent as possible.

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TikTok Hand Signal Leads to Teens Safety

A 16-year-old girl learned a hand gesture on the social media platform TikTok and was able to use the signal to get help. With any signal, you would have to be able to interpret what that signal means, or at least be with someone who does. You might not know that someone is trying to communicate with you or what a specific type of hand gesture means. But, in this case, law enforcement officers say it saved this teens life!

Here’s the back story …

On November 8, 2021, a teenage girl was sitting in a car looking out the window – next to her alleged kidnapper. Can you imagine the horror she must have been feeling at that time?! She couldn’t scream for help. She couldn’t open her door. She couldn’t wave her arms. Nothing.

But, what she could do to try and alert others that she was in danger (without alerting her abductor)—was use one hand to flash a signal toward the window. She did it hoping that someone, anyone, would know what it meant. She opened her hand, tucked her thumb in, bent the remaining four fingers down, and then repeated it over and over again. Is this American Sign Language you might ask? No. It’s a gesture that she learned on TikTok, thanks to the philanthropic organization called the Canadian Women’s Foundation.

The hand signal worked!

A passing motorist noticed the girl flashing hand signs and knew exactly what it meant. The motorist called 911, followed the abductors car, and kept authorities up-to-date by phone. Deputies were able to pull the vehicle over and box it in, so that it could not go anywhere. Thank goodness, it led to the rescue of the teen girl and the arrest of her abductor, James H. Brick, age 61.

Here is a YouTube demonstration of how to do the signal. Please share it with the women and girls in your life:

Now that the hand signal is more well-known, the hope is that it continues to spread universally. It is now being shared by partner organizations around the world:

You never know when it could save your life or the life of a loved one.

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Counterfeit Cargo

Did you know that millions of cargo items are inspected before they are allowed to be sold to the public? And that more often than not, knock off items are making their way into the United States? With Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals popping up, this is prime target for counterfeiters to strike!

Thankfully, we have Custom and Border Patrol Agents who use intel to intercept items BEFORE they can enter the market. Some containers hide fake goods. These are items that are cheaply made and designed to look authentic. Sometimes they are even dangerous.

To make sure they are legitimate and safe, Special Agents go through cargo containers one at a time. They are finding toxic levels of led and chemicals in toys, unsafe Christmas lights that can easily burst into flames, cell phones, handbags, jewelry, and so much more. In fact, children’s clothing (tested for led) and dolls are a big safety problem. Knock off dolls many times test positive for a high level of Phthalates (a substance used to make plastics soft and flexible). These items are cheaply made and designed to look authentic, but they are counterfeit.

What is the money funding?
Buying counterfeit items funds terrorism, human trafficking, and criminal organizations.

Why shouldn’t you buy counterfeit goods?
• They’re not safe!
• Criminals are breaking the law by importing and selling these goods.
• Identity Fraud can come into play.

What can you do about this?
• Buy from reputable stores and websites
• When you shop online, make sure the company has a real address and phone number
• If the price is too good to be true, that’s a red flag. Be smarter than the criminals.

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Thank a Veteran Today!

To all the members of our military, past and present, in every branch of service – we salute you and thank you for your service and sacrifice!

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Halloween Amidst COVID

Everyone is eager to get back to some good old fashioned Halloween fun! Health experts seem to have given families the green light to trick or treat, but not without offering important tips to help keep your family safe.

One of the biggest concerns is the risk we all face by unvaccinated children. COVID cases seem to be down nationwide, but according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a quarter of new COVID cases are still among school-aged kids.

Trick-or-Treating Tips:

• Keep groups small and only spend time around friends that you know are vaccinated.
• Good hand hygiene. Have plenty of hand sanitizer and wipes on hand.
• Social distance. Many people have forgotten to do this. The rule is still 6ft apart.
• Inspect your child’s candy before they eat it.
• Add reflective tape or have a flashlight available when walking.

Handing out Candy
Limit your exposure and wear a mask. Also, consider handing out individual bags of candy instead of a communal basket. And be sure to wash your hands often.
In the end, have fun! Trick-or-treating is back in stride so be safe out there.

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Fraudsters are getting savvy. Beware of the latest scams!

Every day, more and more people are falling victim to online scams. Fraudsters are posing as banks, shopping centers, UPS stores, Amazon, and countless others. They are savvy and will reach out to you online via social media, email, phone calls, and text messaging impersonating themselves as fraud departments.


• Don’t engage. Scammers want you to reply. They want you to click the links. They want you to ask questions. Don’t give them the satisfaction.

• Don’t click on any links unless you know for certain that it is a legitimate source. When in doubt, just delete it, block the source, and move on with your day.

• Don’t ever give out your personal information online. If a site or email is asking for your date of birth, photo, or address for example, don’t engage

• Don’t pay anyone with gift cards. If someone is asking you to go to the store and buy gift cards, don’t do it. Come on – that’s a straight scam!

• Beware of requests to download appx to “fix issues.” That could be a scam too.

• Don’t change your password just because you receive a request to do so. If you receive a one-time passcode that you didn’t initiate, it’s a scam.

Arm yourself with information, so you don’t fall victim.

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Public Records

Public records. They are available online and anyone can access them.

What is a public record?

A public record is any document that is made or received in connection with the public business of any state agency. They are created by the federal and local government. That means that voting information, government salaries, court documents, police records, criminal records, photographs, and yes, even email, may all be considered to be a public record.

Even media articles are public information. If a story is written about you in a newspaper, magazine, online department story, or even a social media profile, it’s public. Other examples of public records include, property tax accessor files, motor vehicle records, and business licenses. And in most cases all are unremovable. These sites are not obligated in any way to take down your information. So, whether you are looking for your own public records or records for a family member, it’s likely searchable on the web.

There are two ways public records are accessible online:

  1. Some agencies post information on their government websites, thereby making it freely available.
  2. Some government agencies and courts sell their public files to commercial data compilers and information brokers. They in turn make them available on a fee basis, either by means of the web or special networks.

What can be done to prevent making public records that contain personal information available online?

Unfortunately, not much. The public policy reasons for making public records available promote accountability. Limit what you post online and regularly search for yourself online to see what you can find. If you find your information listed, there are businesses that can assist you with online removal, but if they claim that they can remove “public records,” it’s not likely true.

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