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[November 19, 2012]
Greeley Tribune, Colo., Action Line column
QUESTION, Nov 18, 2012 (Greeley Tribune - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- The other day, I saw a car pulled over on the streets of Greeley by a little white car with flashing lights. Is this a fake police car ANSWER -- No. The city of Greeley employs not only the traditional marked gray and black cars but unmarked police cars for a variety of officers. There are about three "low-profile" traffic cars, and many other unmarked cars for sergeants and detectives.
Greeley Police Sgt. Susan West would not go into too many specifics, but she said the cars vary in model, make and color. She said the department has roughly 20 total unmarked cars in its fleet.
But, she said, since there have been incidents in Colorado (though none in Greeley that West can recall) where police impersonators have stopped cars, you should always be cautious.
If you are pulled over and are not sure you've been pulled over by a legitimate police officer, use your cellphone to call police dispatch at (970) 350-9600 or 911. Describe what's going on to the police dispatcher, who can verify that the stop is real. All officers are required to call in their stops.
If you do not have a cellphone, pull over in a well-lit lot with people in the area, West advised. As long as you do not seem as if you're intentionally fleeing the officer, you will be OK if you search for a place to stop, she said.
QUESTION -- The other morning a trash company came out in my neighborhood at a quarter to 5 a.m. Isn't this illegal ANSWER -- Yes, based on the city's new ordinance, picking up trash within 300 feet of residential neighborhoods is illegal between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. , with the exception of picking up at schools, which is allowed at 6 a.m .
All local trash companies were made aware of this new ordinance well in advance, Assistant City Manager Becky Safarik said .
Residents who have lingering concerns about such issues should call Greeley police at (970) 350-9600 to report it. It would be best to collect the name of company and a license plate number of the trash vehicle, if you can get it, so police can follow up. If police witness it, they will issue a ticket to the driver on site.
SCAM ALERT: Scambook, a complaint resolution platform out of Los Angeles, warns consumers about a new text message gift card scheme, TargetContests.com.
The text message says, "Your entry last month WON! Go to TargetContests.com enter winning code 3847 to claim your FREE $1000.00 Target gift card within 24hrs." It is a new twist in which spammers select thousands of cellphone numbers, usually via randomizing computer software, then blast a text message promoting the $1,000 gift card prize, according to the release. They use popular stores, such as Target and Walmart, then create websites that mimic the real company's brand.
"Scambook members have reported 149 complaints about TargetContests.com. But more than 100 of those complaints arrived overnight between Nov. 12 and 13," said Kase Chong, Scambook's director of marketing in a news release. "We rarely see a single complaint subject get so much activity in such a short time period." Based on its initial studies, 100,000 cellphone users could be targeted by this phony text within the next three months, according to the release.
"If you receive a text for a free $1,000 gift card prize at TargetContests.com, ignore it and contact your service provider to report the sender," Chong said in the release. "Your cellphone company may also be able to block unknown numbers for texting you and charging your account." Have a question Contact Sharon Dunn at (970) 392-4439 or sdunn@ greeleytribune.com.
___ (c)2012 the Greeley Tribune (Greeley, Colo.) Visit the Greeley Tribune (Greeley, Colo.) at www.greeleytribune.com Distributed by MCT Information Services
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