A message from District Attorney Tim Cruz
Recently, my office has been inundated with reports of internet scams. We prosecute these crimes to the best of our ability, but we would much prefer to prevent them from ever happening. According to a survey by Pew Research Center, April, 2021- 85% of adults in the United States now own a smartphone. Smartphones as well as other devices that are linked to the internet provide a number of dangers that can lure unsuspecting victims into their web. With today’s technology, we all have to be extra careful to protect ourselves from the dangers that exist in cyber space.
Here are some tips to remember to keep yourself safe while on the internet:
Privacy settings: Privacy settings: should be set as restrictive as possible.
Be careful of what you post on social media: Do not share personal information such as posts that reveal birthdays, family member names and pet names as these can all help a criminal guess your passwords, and make a scam more convincing.
Never Post in Anger: Posting in anger can damage your reputation and may be criminal. It is illegal to threaten or harass others over the internet. Law enforcement has the ability to track IP (internet protocol) addresses back to the device owner – You are never anonymous, even if you use a fake name.
People may not be who they seem: The term “catfish” refers to those who lure others into a relationship by using a fictional online persona. “Catfishing” goes beyond just being embarrassing. Romance scams quickly turn into financial scams. According to the Federal Trade Commission, romance scams were the top fraud impacting adults over the age of 60 in 2020, with $139 million in losses to older adults.
Products purchased online may not be what they seem: Be very careful about which websites you use while shopping online. Stick to reputable companies. This is especially true for prescription drugs. It is difficult to tell counterfeit drugs from the real thing and counterfeit drugs often contain fentanyl or methamphetamine and can be deadly.
Beware of phishing scams: These are fraudulent emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce
individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers. If you receive an email requesting payment updates, or personal information, do not respond. Instead, either go to the company’s website directly, and access your account. This is where it will state if there is an issue with your account.
A good tip to always remember: If you wouldn’t walk up to a stranger and share the information you are about to post, then don’t share it on the internet.
If you have been the victim of fraud or harassment, contact your local police or my office for assistance. You may feel embarrassed, but remember that you were scammed by a professional scam artist. By making a report you can help us prevent others from falling for the same
A message from District Attorney Tim Cruz
In 2017, the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office was selected as one of 14 national sites to receive Project Safe Neighborhood opens in a new window(PSN) funding.
Over the last decade, my office has seen remarkable success in curtailing firearms violence in the City of Brockton, particularly in the last 3 years, since implementing Project Safe Neighborhoods:
- Aggravated Assaults with a firearm…down 15% from 2018 to 2019
- Armed Robbery with a firearm…down 17% from 2018-2019
There was also a 23% decrease in the number of persons shot from 2018 to 2019.
Since the start of the PSN grant in 2017, the 4 year trend shows a 32% decrease in firearm-involved crimes:
- Aggravated assault…down 41%
- Armed robbery…down 19%
- Assault to murder…down 14%
- Home invasion...down 80%
- Homicide…down 57%.
There was also a 34% decrease in the number of persons shot over the project period.
While 2020 brought unique challenges with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Brockton did not encounter the same spike in violent crime that most of the country had experienced.
Around the country, cities witnessed an increase in homicides, with the national average rising more than 35% from 2019 to 2020.
In contrast, Brockton saw a 20% decrease in homicides from 2019-2020, from 5 to 4, and firearm-related homicides decreased by 25%, from 4 to 3.
It is important to put into context, that while we have decreased violent crime and homicides, we have also decreased the incarcerated population at the Plymouth County House of Corrections by 65% since 2010.
Despite the tireless work of law enforcement and our community partners, acute upticks in violence may occur. We believe that our dedication to a holistic model of violence reduction, utilizing prevention, intervention, enforcement, and re-entry methods, leads to better long term outcomes.
Through prevention and intervention, the PSN strategy works, and our Safe Streets community partners are making sure that the low violent crime numbers are sustained long term.
Fall / Winter 2020
Our newsletters have been developed to provide you with important information about public safety and the services that are available to you through the District Attorney’s office.
Public Safety has been and remains our top priority. We are committed to protecting of our children, our seniors, and our communities.
For our children, we will continue to expand the traditional role of this office to include extensive outreach and preventative programs in collaboration with our local schools and our local service providers.
We work to ensure our seniors are provided with the means necessary to for their personal protection from crime and abuse.
The collaboration between area residents and law enforcement agencies has been proven to be an effective method in fighting crime. We remain committed to this collaboration to solidify the revitalization of all of our communities in Plymouth County.
We hope that you find the content of this newsletter informative and useful.