In the wake of a recent counterfeit crime where an elderly Upper Arlington woman handed over a significant amount in cash and jewelry to scam artists, now is a great time for some safety reminders for our community's older adults and their family members.
At least three people have received phone calls related to the current counterfeit scam, warning residents that they may have received fake money from their bank. The caller claims to be an officer with the Ohio Bank Examiner's Office, which does not exist.
If you receive such a phone call, please report it immediately to the UA Police Division at 614-583-5160. If you have caller ID, double check if an actual phone number or company name shows up on the screen and make note of it.
Any time you are approached by telephone or at the door by someone wishing to sell you a product or service, or with a story such as this most recent scam, it behooves you to assume the person contacting you is not to be trusted.
Here are some basic safety tips to avoid falling victim to these individuals:
* Do not let strangers into your home. If a caller says he is coming to your home, have a friend or relative stop by just in case.
* If you think a call you receive is legitimate, don't act on the request immediately -- take some key information and a phone number, and then ask a relative to follow up for you or double check with police by calling 614-583-5160 to see if they are monitoring reports of recent scam attempts.
* Never provide personal information without verifying that the caller is who they say they are. When in doubt, ask a friend or relative to look up the company.
* Never hand over cash or valuables.
* Groups and businesses wishing to canvass the community are required to obtain solicitation permits from the city so you can always ask to see a copy of their city permit. Visit uaoh.net under the Headlines section of the homepage for details.
* Ask to see a badge/certification and call the office or manager to ensure that the company the person claims to represent is legitimate and that they are indeed employed by that company.
We have two versions of a non-solicitation decal that can be placed at your front door to stop unwanted visitors. The decals can be obtained from the city manager's office; call 614-583-5040 for details. For additional safety tips, contact our Police Community Relations Officer Heather Galli at 614-583-5197.
Remember, when it comes to your personal safety and protecting your belongings, it's better to be safe than sorry. Any company should be happy to provide the information necessary to make you feel secure.
Issue 24 Update
UA homes should have received the fall edition of the City Insight newsletter last week, with the cover story providing some background on the Lane Avenue Community Entertainment District ballot issue -- Issue 24.
We also have a section dedicated to Issue 24 available on our website at uaoh.net. And, of course, there will be additional updates and information made available in the coming weeks, so I encourage you to take some time to be sure you fully understand this issue before casting your vote on Nov. 6.
Speaking of the election, the deadline for voter registration is Oct. 9, so be sure that you are registered and able to vote. Registration may be done by mail or in person at the Franklin County Board of Elections, the Ohio Secretary of State's office, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, or at a number of other designated locations.
Mailed registration forms must be postmarked 30 days prior to the election.
The registration form is available online at sos.state.oh.us/sos/upload/autoform/vrform_autoform.aspx?page=4763.
You may also change your address using the same registration form.
Believing in the value of democracy and our system of voting is key to a healthy community and nation -- I'll see you at the polls Nov. 6.
Theodore J. Staton is Upper Arlington's city manager.