Westwood South of

Santa Monica Blvd.

Homeowners Association


Consumer Alerts


BE AWARE OF THEFTS FROM US POST BOXES!

October 24, 2012

Thieves are removing mail that we have placed in US Postal Service mailboxes in our area.


One of our neighbors in the Bentley/Greenfield/Missouri area contacted us to let us know that she saw a man attempting to remove mail from her local mailbox.  She contacted the LAPD but was told instead to contact the US Postal Service for follow up.  At that time (a week ago), this was an isolated incident. 

Just this weekend, we had a report from a second resident that after mailing a letter at the Prosser/Mississippi mail box, she realized that the inside slot of the box was very, very sticky.  This made her suspicious in that letters mailed would not go down into the box but would instead stick to the upper portion and could be retrieved.  She contacted the U.S. Postal Service and insisted that they immediately clean the mailbox.

On Tuesday, we learned of a third incident:  A neighbor who mailed payment envelopes from the US Postal Box at Selby and Pico (at the side of the Bank of America) on Sunday was contacted by a local neighbor who FOUND his envelopes and payment stubs BUT NO CHECKS, discarded in the street near the mailbox.  THIS MEANS THAT SOMEONE REMOVED THE ENVELOPES, OPENED THEM AND STOLE THE CHECKS. 

Thieves can "wash" out the name of a payee on a check and enter their own name.  Thieves can take your personal information from a payment stub and request that your charge account info be mailed to a new address (and then request new credit cards and do further damage).  If a thief were lucky enough to get hold of mail with your personal information such as social security number, date of birth, etc. there could be identify theft leading to serious problems. 

UNTIL THE LAPD AND/OR U.S. POSTAL SERVICE ARE ABLE TO CATCH THOSE RESPONSIBLE, WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU DO NOT USE THE LOCAL MAILBOXES.  IT IS BEST TO  HAND YOUR OUTGOING MAIL TO YOUR MAIL CARRIER (do not leave checks in letters outside of your mailbox at your home as they could be taken) or TAKE THEM TO THE POST OFFICE.  Offer to take the mail of your neighbors if they don't make regular trips to the post office. 

BE ALERT AND MAKE A SPECIAL EFFORT TO KEEP AN EYE ON THE LOCAL MAILBOXES AND CALL THE POLICE SHOULD YOU OBSERVE ANYTHING SUSPICIOUS.  WE WILL BE IN CONTACT WITH BOTH THE LAPD AND U.S. POSTAL SERVICE. 

From the Southern California Gas Company (5/15/12)

Imposters Claim President Obama is paying utility bills

Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) is alerting customers to be aware of a scam that has impacted other utility customers in several states across the country.

The scam claims that President Barack Obama is providing credits or applying payments to utility bills. In some cases, scammers have asked for social security numbers in order to allow for credits or to apply payments to customers' utility bills, presenting an identity-theft risk. According to reports, scammers have visited customers in person, posted fliers and used social media and texting to send messages claiming that President Obama will provide a credit or directly pay utility bills.

SoCalGas wants to assure customers that SoCalGas employees carry proper identification when called out to any job. The company also does not randomly call or text customers asking for social security or other information. Customers should verify the employee's proper uniform and identification before letting anyone in the home or on their property. Customer safety is a top priority for SoCalGas and employees will always be happy to wait while the customer confirms their identity.

Here are some tips to help customers identify SoCalGas employees:

• Be vigilant and question anyone who presents themselves as a representative of the utility.

• SoCalGas workers who perform in-home appliance services, work on gas meters or work on gas pipelines wear uniforms. However, some other employees do not. Always ask for identification before allowing anyone inside the home or on the property.

• The majority of authorized SoCalGas employees will be in uniform with company logo and carry an official employee badge. Most field employees also drive a company vehicle.

• Most of the time a SoCalGas employee visits a home or business in response to a service request. If no one scheduled an appointment, call SoCalGas before allowing anyone inside the home or property

• Never leave the house unlocked and unattended. SoCalGas does not ask customers to leave their homes unattended.

• To verify the authenticity of anyone claiming to be a representative of SoCalGas, customers are encouraged to ask for proper identification or call the utility at 1-800-427-2200 (or 1-800-342-4545 in Spanish). SoCalGas customer service representatives are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

• Visit socalgas.com/safety for more information on staying safe.



LA DWP ISSUES WARNING TO RESIDENTS (6-2012): 

LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) cautions residents to beware of impostors posing as utility personnel making service-related house calls. These impostors seek to gain access to residential property in order to steal valuables from the occupant. LADWP customers have reported recent incidents of "distraction burglaries," wherein the impostors work as a team: one diverts the attention of the resident by taking them outside or to another part of the house, while another searches the home for valuable items to steal.

LADWP asks all customers to call the Department at 1-800-DIAL DWP (1-800-342-5397) to verify the worker's identity, employment and purpose of visit before granting access to any part of their property. Employees will present their Department-issued IDs and give their name, employee number and supervisor name to customers at the time of visit and anytime upon request.

"Distraction burglary is an important issue for us but the good news is, this form of victimization is easily preventable," said Patrick Findley, Director of LADWP Security Services Division. "The more our customers know about it, the less likely it is to happen, so help us spread the word among your family, friends and neighbors."

All LADWP employees have ID cards and field employees wear uniforms and drive Department vehicles, both of which prominently display the familiar LADWP logo seen at the top right corner of this document. Additionally, LADWP employees typically do not appear at customers' doors unannounced. To remain safe, customers should not open their doors to anyone claiming to be a utility employee until the worker's identity, employment and purpose of visit has been confirmed.

The public should always report any criminal incidents to the Los Angeles Police Department.

LADWP officers are on watch 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. To report suspicious activity to the Department: call LADWP Security Services at (213) 367-3373 or (213) 367-9111, or

  • email SecurityServicesWebNotification@ladwp.com, or
  • visit www.ladwp.com and click Security Issue under Contact Us.

 

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