Somerville Police Department
220 Washington St
Somerville, MA 02143
(In Union Square)
East Substation: 81 Broadway
West Substation: 1114 Broadway

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National Consumer Awareness Week 2017

ncpw-social2--SOMERVILLE, MA.

The Consumer Advocacy & Response Division (CARD) is promoting consumer education during National Consumer Protection Week, (March 5-11). Know your rights and avoid scams. Visit consumer.ftc.gov for consumer protection tips and materials. 

The (CARD) are consumer specialists trained to assist you directly in seeking to resolve problems with businesses and answer any questions you may have. If necessary they may refer you to a wide network of available consumer assistance and legal aid resources.

Some of their assistance covers the following issues:

  • Defective products;
  • Car Sales and financing;
  • Telemarketing scams;
  • Debt collection;
  • Mortgage servicing;
  • Home improvement contracts;
  • Utility bills; and
  • Identity Theft

For more details see the CARD Brochure 

 

Consumer Complaint forms are now available. If you seek an accommodation due to a disability or have an urgent complaint you may call the Consumer Hotline at (617) 727-8400 or (617) 727-4765 TTY.

**The Elder Hotline (888) 243-5337: This dedicated hotline operates as part of CARD and can assist older Massachusetts residents. Trained staff is knowledgeable of the more common consumer problems that affect older residents of Massachusetts. 

Common Questions

What happens if you have paid money to a scammer with a credit or debit card?

-Call your credit card company immediately using the phone number you have on your monthly card statement, alert them of the fraudulent charge right away. Ask if you will be eligible to get your money back, and ask to get a new card with a new number to prevent more fraudulent charges. You may report these scams to the Federal Trade Commission. You may file a complaint online to the FTC. You can subscribe to FTC alerts

Watch and share this video on "How to File a Complaint."

Why do I keep getting these Robo-Calls?

-If you get a call from an unknown number. Do not answer! These could be Robo calls. They are automated dialers that call thousands of people every day. As soon as you speak, or dial a number on the dial pad, you will receive more and more of these calls. You may want to see if your phone company can block these and telemarketing fraud calls. Lastly, you may also sign up on the FTC Do Not Call Registry

Watch and share these videos on "Robo Calls" & "Telemarketing Fraud"

I think someone is using my identity, what should I do?

-Ok, some warning signs of identity theft, as reported by the Federal Trade Commission are: 

  • You see withdrawals from your bank account that you can't explain.
  • You don't get your bills or other mail.
  • Merchants refuse your checks. 
  • You get a notice that your information was compromised by a data breach at a company where you do business or have an account.

If this is familiar, notify the fraud department, ask them to freeze/close the accounts and change your login, password, and pins for the accounts. 

Place a free, 90-day fraud alert to one of the credit bureaus. Report the identity theft to the FTC online, or call (877) 438-4338, include as many details as possible. 

Watch and share this video on "Identity Theft"

 


 THE INFORMATION ABOVE WAS PROVIDED BY THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION & MASS.GOV

 

Partnership with Project Linus

ProjectLinus

SOMERVILLE – Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan today announced a new partnership with Project Linus to provide blankets to children in Middlesex County who experience an opioid-related, or other trauma. 

Somerville is the first community to partner with District Attorney Ryan and Project Linus. As part of the two-part initiative, the Somerville Police Department will immediately begin handing out blankets to children and seniors from the Somerville Council on Aging will be volunteering their time to create new, handmade blankets that will be distributed both locally and across the Greater Boston area.

“This initiative is another way our office is partnering with police departments to provide early and informed care to high-risk children who have experienced trauma, specifically opioid related trauma,” said District Attorney Ryan. “Starting today we will be putting handmade blankets into the hands of first-responders across Middlesex County that will then be distributed to these children to provide a sense of security and help them cope after experiencing a traumatic event.”

Through this program Project Linus will also provide blankets to all children identified through Project C.A.R.E, a partnership involving the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, the Lowell Police Department, Lowell Fire Department, Trinity Ambulance and the Mental Health Association of Greater Lowell to provide a 24-hour, 7-day-a-week rapid response trauma-informed intervention for children who witness a parent or loved one suffer an overdose. 

Early and appropriate trauma-informed care can help children cope with trauma, build resiliency and help reduce the cyclical effects of substance misuse.

“The Greater Boston Chapter is so pleased to partner with Project C.A.R.E. to provide ‘handmade hugs’ to the children in our community.  We look forward to a successful partnership with the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office,” added Lucy Maiullari, Greater Boston Chapter Coordinator, Project Linus.

Blankets will also be provided to Middlesex County Chiefs of Police and other first-responders across the County to distribute when children have experienced other types of trauma such as witnessing a violent crime, loss of a parent or sibling or displacement from their home. 

The announcement, made yesterday to over 100 seniors at the annual Valentine’s Day luncheon hosted by the Somerville Police Department, also marks the launch of an effort to recruit volunteers to help support and sustain this initiative. Some Somerville seniors arrived at yesterday’s luncheon ready to help with their knitting materials in hand, while others came with already-made blankets to be donated to the program.

After the announcement Somerville Chief of Police David Fallon took a supply of more than 100 blankets back to station, which officers will begin distributing immediately. 

“We are honored to partner with District Attorney Ryan and Project Linus on this initiative,” said Chief Fallon. “This is an important step in addressing the impact that the opioid crisis has on the entire community. Through this program we are providing early intervention to help some of the most vulnerable victims of the opioid epidemic, children.”

Project Linus is a 100% volunteer organization dedicated to creating and delivering new handmade blankets to any child who may be in need of some extra comforting. Blankets can be knitted, crocheted, quilted or hand-tied by volunteers of all ages and abilities and are delivered to children in hospitals throughout the world or to any child in need of consolation. You can find more information about Project Linus and its Greater Boston Chapter at www.projectlinus.org.

 

Package Theft: Where's My Stuff?


stuff---SOMERVILLE MA 

If you have been waiting for your package to arrive on your doorstep, and remain on your doorstep, you are mistaken. SPD Crime Statistics show that in 2013, there were a reported 75 package thefts from porches and doorsteps of Somerville residents.  Fast forward to 2016 that number for the past two years on average 19 package thefts were reported between Thanksgiving & Christmas holiday season in Somerville, MA. This is about 25% of our yearly reported total. Nevertheless, it is possible that many package thefts are never reported, so this average could be higher. Some arrests were made and some items were recovered. The goal is to reduce this type of theft from happening at all, and residents are the key to make this happen.

 

Although these statistics show an increase during the holiday season, there have been reported package thefts in our area throughout the year. If you haven't started taking steps to prevent your packages from being stolen, you may want to start now. With the steady increase in popularity of online shopping discounts and catalog services, the convenience of home shopping is nevertheless a necessity for some. There are many steps for home shoppers to use and therefore reduce the chance of stolen deliveries. Here are just a few helpful tips to get you started.

1. Have your package delivered to a location where someone can receive it in person. A neighbor or relative who is usually home.

2. If you have an understanding boss, your workplace is a good alternative.

3. Start a neighborhood watch for deliveries and agree to secure each other's packages. This includes being watchful for any stranger who is going onto porches for no reason or following delivery trucks.

4. Hold your package at the shipping facility, if the service is available.

5. Track your deliveries online. Most of you might already do this, an added bonus is allowing text notifications to your cell phone for when the package is delivered.

6. Request a signature confirmation of delivery

7. Provide delivery instructions. Set instructions to leave packages out-of-sight from the street.

Finally, we encourage residents to report package thefts to the SPD. Reports help track specific areas of related theft incidents and help the Somerville Police Department assign officers to those areas. 

 
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