The Mesa County Sheriff's Office has found the safest neighborhoods are the ones where you know and engage with your neighbors. In this digital age, the social media network, Nextdoor, allows you to do that from the convenience of your phone or home computer.
Nextdoor is like Facebook, but all of your "friends" are your neighbors and you sign up via your address.
Residents use Nextdoor to discuss community issues, crime, and safety, ask for recommendations, advertise events, or to sell those items collecting dust you've been meaning to get rid of. It really has become the digital Neighborhood Watch.
The Mesa County Sheriff's Office is on Nextdoor as well. As a law enforcement agency, we are not a part of your private neighborhood group. Instead, we use the social media network like a virtual bulletin board. Nextdoor is a tool for MCSO to effectively share information on crime prevention and safety, public events, and emergency notifications specifically happening where you live. We will not be able to "see" your conversations within your community. We will "see" what you comment on our posts or if you direct message us.
Learn more about Nextdoor and how to sign up for free here.
Please note: the Mesa County Sheriff's Office currently does not facilitate the creation of Neighborhood Watch groups. If you would like to learn more about starting a neighborhood watch in your neighborhood click here.
Scammers are very smart. They are masterful at tricking people out of their hard-earned money. Here are some common scams reported in Mesa County and information about how to spot them before you fall victim. Click here to report a scam.
Jury Duty / Warrant Scam
How it works
Scammers call pretending to be an officer and say you have a warrant out for your arrest because you have done something wrong, like missed jury duty. You can make it all go away, by (you guessed it) paying them money!
Law Enforcement, the IRS, or any government agency will NEVER call you. If you are in trouble, we will just come and arrest you.
The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office ONLY accepts CASH or CHECK. SCAMMERS usually ask victims to go purchase a prepaid card to pay their “fine.”
What to Do
Hang up!!! Call the law enforcement or government agency who the scammer pretended to be to verify the information. Use a phone number you looked up, not the one the scammer gave you.
Over Payment Scam
How it works
Scammers call offering to buy something you are selling and send you a check for more than the amount you are asking, usually a lot more. They then ask you to send them the extra, after you keep some for your trouble. They come up with a logical explanation. BUT…..the check won’t clear….your bank won’t find out until after you have already sent the check from your bank account.
If it’s too good to be true….IT IS!!
What to Do
DON’T accept the check, DON’T cash it. DON’T send money from your account. Report the person to law enforcement.
Loved one in trouble Scam
How it works
Scammers call pretending to be an officer and say your grandchild is out of the country and is in trouble. They could be hurt, or have gotten in trouble with the law. They of course need your help to get home safely.
You can’t talk to your loved one. They make an excuse as to why they are not available. Scammers are really good at putting the pressure on so you don’t have time to see through their SCAM.
What to Do
Call your loved one!!! If you can’t get ahold of them, call someone who knows where they are. Make sure they are truly out of the country. It sounds simple, but scammers are good at convincing you why there isn’t time to do that.
Lonely Heart Scam
How it works
Scammers start an online relationship with you. This can last for weeks, even months. It can even evolve into text or phone calls. The key is you never meet and they start asking for money or personal information. Usually, they ask for money is for a plane ticket to come to see you, or a family tragedy they need help with.
You have never met, yet they ask for money. They may live out of the country.
They have you sign up for credit cards or offer to help you with bank accounts.
What to Do
It can be hard to believe the person you are corresponding with is actually trying to scam you. However, people have lost all of their life savings to these types of SCAMs. Before you send any money or offer any personal financial information to anyone you meet online, share the details of your relationship with a trusted responsible adult. Do a background check on the person to make sure the person is who they say they are. If things aren’t adding up, it’s probably a scam. Remember if the person truly loves you, they won’t put you in a compromising position.
How it works
Scammers call or mail you notification you won a prize or money!!! BUT….to get your prize you have to pay a processing fee, or taxes or something you have never heard of.
If you win a prize or lottery money, it is illegal for you to have to pay money upfront to receive it.
What to Do
Hang up or throw the mailer away. If it’s too good to be true…IT IS!
From stolen checks, credit cards, social security fraud, and all the way to identity theft, everyone should be aware of fraudulent activity and learn how to take simple steps to recognize fraud and help safeguard yourself and your accounts from being compromised.
Protect your account information and numbers
Never give out financial information, including your social security number, to anyone unless you initiate the contact and know the person or organization you are dealing with.
Report lost or stolen checks immediately
Report lost or stolen checks immediately to your bank and your local law enforcement agency
Your bank will be able to safeguard your accounts and return any fraudulent checks to the merchants who accepted them.
Store all cancelled and new checks securely
Always try to keep new books of checks and all canceled checks in a safe place, away from common areas of your residence, but not in your garage or a storage shed.
Be aware of suspicious phone inquiries
Notify your bank immediately if you receive a call from someone claiming to be from a financial institution that asks for your account information. Your financial institution will never ask you to verify your account numbers with them.
Guard your ATM PIN number
Try not to use obvious or easily attainable information like your PIN number and destroy old ATM receipts as they may contain valuable account information on them.
Destroy financial solicitations you receive in the mail
If you decide you are not interested in a financial solicitation that you received in the mail, tear it up or shred it. This prevents someone from taking it from your garbage, filling it out, and having an account open with your information.
Keep track of incoming bills
If your regular bills fail to reach you, contact the company, and find out why. Someone might have filled out a false change-of-address notice to divert your mail to another address.
Review all your statements carefully
Too often people do not carefully review the charges placed on their statements. Thieves who have compromised your account(s) may only charge small amounts to start. Always confirm that all the charges are ones that you have authorized. Credit card statements should be reconciled just like checking and saving account statements.
Check your credit report periodically
It is always important to check your credit report to ensure that no accounts have been opened using your information without your knowledge. It will also enable you to see who is running credit checks on you. The three major credit bureaus are:
Equifax -- 800-685-1111
Experian -- 888-682-3742
TransUnion -- 800-916-8800
Keep personal numbers off your checks
It is recommended that you do not have your driver's license or social security number printed on the face of your checks. This would hopefully encourage the clerk who accepts your check to ask for and look at identification before accepting the check. This step helps keep your account safer and will save you many headaches down the road.
If you believe you have become a victim of fraud, contact your bank or credit card company immediately, as well as the Mesa County Sheriff's Office. You can report a fraud crime through our online reporting system.
The biggest deterrent for car break-ins is do NOT leave your valuables inside the car. Be sure to LOCK your car every time it's unoccupied, it sounds simple, and it is. Thieves look for the easy opportunity, don’t make it effortless for them.
Park vehicle(s) in a garage if possible;
If not possible:
park the vehicle(s) in a well-lit area, or
park in an area covered by a motion detector floodlight
Lock vehicle(s) completely and roll up all windows
If so equipped, Activate the Auto Alarm!
Don't leave an extra set of keys in the vehicle
Don't leave the vehicle title in the vehicle
Don't leave a purse or wallet in the vehicle, especially in plain sight
Don't leave CD's, DVD's, or other types of media in the vehicle. Use a CD wallet or other type of carrier, take it inside with you or place in the trunk and lock the trunk
Don't leave credit cards, cash, checks, or other forms of currency in the vehicle when rafting, hiking, skiing, at biking trailheads or boat ramps
Don't leave a vehicle unattended and unlocked in the morning or anytime while warming it up or defrosting the windows
Hide valuables and packages from plain sight by placing them in the trunk and locking the trunk
All doors leading to the outside of your home should have deadbolt locks.
When away at night, leave outside lights on.
Do not leave a key over a door or under a mat.
The single lock on a garage door is inadequate to keep intruders from prying up the opposite side and crawling in. Use a padlock, but never leave it unlocked. This is an invitation to have the padlock removed so that a key can be made, and the lock is returned to its position. Later, the burglar returns when no one is home and enters at his leisure, using "their" key.
Take pictures of all your valuables and their serial numbers. Keep an accurate record of all valuable possessions in a safe location.
When leaving on a trip: Stop all deliveries, connect a light to a timer, notify law enforcement, and have a neighbor check your home periodically. Have someone maintain your lawn.
Be a concerned neighbor. If you see a suspicious person, car, or situation, call 911 or contact law enforcement.
Safety at your Front Door
Never automatically open your front door.
Make sure you know the person's identity before admitting them.
If the person at your door is a stranger, ask for identification to be passed under the door. If they are unable to do this, do not let them in.
It is advisable to have a wide-angle viewer (peep-hole) in the door, so you can check a person's identity without unlocking your door.
If you live in an apartment building with an intercom system, make sure the landlord keeps the system in operating order.
Never admit anyone unless you are expecting them or know them.
Never admit anyone to the building who is there to see another tenant or to deliver something to another apartment.
Anyone asking admission so they can do some work for another tenant should not be admitted but should be referred to the building manager.
If you see someone in your building who looks out of place or is acting suspiciously, call 911 or contact law enforcement.