Pictured above is Ken Romer, Volunteer for the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office (PBSO) and Club President Vanessa Havener.
PBSO recruits many volunteers to help the Sheriff’s office conduct services outside of public safety. Volunteers Against Scams Team (VAST) assists citizens of Palm Beach County who have been targeted as victims of financial crimes. BAST objectives include preventing additional victimization and providing assistance in recovering from crimes involving identity theft, fraud and other mainstream financial crimes.
Another primary goal of VAST is to educate citizens to help them prevent financial crimes and victimization.
Ken Romer, a volunteer with VAST, gave an insightful presentation to the Club. He provided the following ways to prevent financial crimes and identity theft:
- Read your bank, credit card and other financial account statements to see if there is any unusual activity
- Shred financial documents as well as other documents that show your personal information
- Check your credit report annually for any entries that are not true
- Be on the “Do Not Call” list
- Use spam filters on your computer
- Use antivirus and malware programs
- Call the Better Business Bureau if there are any suspicious companies that may be operating fraudulently
- Research companies or people who are acting suspiciously
- Open email if you don’t know the source
- Respond to emails, text or phone messages requesting personal information
- Leaver your purse unattended
- Provide financial information over the phone to any unfamiliar company or person
- Be pushed into a hasty decision by anyone
- Use passwords of pets or commonly used names
- “If it sounds too good to be true, it is”
- “I guarantee it”
- “You can trust me”
- “Let’s seal it with a handshake”
- “I’m from the IRS” (the IRS doesn’t call you)