April Column: Home Security – Protecting your Sanctuary

Welcome to our April column. We trust that you’ve found last months’ column interesting and we always enjoy hearing from you.

For the rest of 2014 we will be focusing on a different crime prevention theme each month.  They will include the topics of: crime prevention week, bike theft, vacation safety, travel and crime prevention, anti-bullying/cyber security, etc., social design concepts, domestic violence, and copper theft. If there is a topic you would like us to try and cover or which you might like to contribute, please feel free to contact us at connect@albertacrimepreventionc.om.  We are always happy to entertain proposed suggestions.

This months’ column was prepared by Mr. Jason King who is the Automation Manager for the security company Vivint (jason.king@vivint.com).


With winter reluctantly leaving us and spring and summer at our doorstep, many families are getting ready to come out of hibernation and enjoy the sun.  We all love the benefits that warmer weather brings, but it’s also a time where intruders become more active.  Nothing rains down on someone’s day more than the experience of a break-in or intrusion, and the feeling of violation in insecurity aren’t easily forgotten.  Fortunately, there is a lot that we can do to deter intruders and keep our homes and families safe.  Here’s 10 gems of inexpensive or free ways to do just that:

1. As tempting as it is to brag about your upcoming vacation all over Facebook and other social media, you are setting your home up as a target for burglars.  Some reports even indicate that intruders use Facebook to determine when homeowners were away, allowing them to plot the perfect times to burglarize their homes.

2. A dog’s bark is, no doubt, a deterrent to thieves, but even if you don’t have a dog—put up a “beware of dog” sign when anyway.  The threat of Sparky might be enough to intimidate and make a burglar think twice about breaking in.

3. Don’t tempt intruders with your pricey possessions.  Throwing out the box for your new flat-screen TV or sound system on the curb lets everyone passing by know that you have well, a brand new flat-screen TV mounted on your wall.  Break down packaging and place it inside the garbage can instead. Better yet, dispose of the packaging at a local recycling depot.

4. Motion-sensored lights outside your home and placed out of easy reach are a great deterrent for burglars.  They’ll run the other way when they find themselves standing in bright lights as they approach your house.

5. Install Window Treatments!  Use blinds or curtains, especially at night.  If someone can see inside your home, they can see what you’re doing, where you’re storing your wallet, which room you’re sitting in to watch TV, and which rooms are dark and vacant.

6. Growing up, I remember our neighbour paid me a couple of dollars to go over to their house while they were away and turn on a few random lights and the radio every day.  They had the right idea.  These days you can set timers for lights to create the illusion that someone is home and actively turning the lights on and off.

7. Keep all doors and windows closed and securely fastened.  An open window or door is like an open invitation for burglars.  To secure sliding glass doors and windows, place a metal rod or piece of plywood in the track, preventing burglars from forcing the door open or lifting it off the track.

8. Keeping a car parked (locked or not) in the driveway with a garage door opener inside is an easy way for an intruder to get into your house if the garage is attached to your home.  Always lock the door to an attached garage.  Don’t rely on your automatic garage door opener for security.  It’s also wise to hide or remove documents in your car that have your name and address on them.  Intruders sometimes “shop” for these papers in car parking lots, and then proceed to the home where they know the owner is out shopping or running errands.

9. Ask your neighbour to collect your mail, packages and newspapers while you are away so they don’t accumulate in plain sight.  It’s a golden ticket for intruders.  For bonus points, ask a neighbour to park in your driveway or parking place to make it appear that you are present.

10. Landscaping helps the curb-appeal of your home, but large hedges and shrubbery provide the perfect hiding place for quick burglars who can break in through a window or door in minutes.  Keep shrubbery trimmed away from your entrances and walkways.  If it risks snowing while you are away, ask your neighbour to keep your walkway clean.

Prevention is the key to protecting your sanctuary, and paying close attention to these items listed can not only deter intruders, but also bring you the peace of mind needed to enjoy family vacations or just sleep soundly in your bed.

Interac boasts lower debit fraud figures


News article by Justin Slimm from 660news.com

Losses because of debit skimming are down.

That’s according to Interac, releasing new numbers Thursday that show fraud exploitation is down 62% year-over-year in Canada.

Total losses were around $29 million last year, but only $7 million of that was because of fraud exploitation.

Caroline Hubberstey with Interac said they’re excited about the numbers.

“It’s really great news for people who love Interac debit and use us with great confidence, we have over 4.5 billion transactions annually,” she said.

“This has always been a secure system, but we’re making it more secure with things like chip technology.”

March is National Fraud Prevention Month.

Bank of Canada – Reduce The Risk: Check Your Notes


Whether paper or polymer and no matter the face value, each time you accept a bank note without checking it, you risk becoming a victim of fraud.

All you need are a few seconds to check your notes and effectively protect yourself from fraud.

March is Fraud Prevention Month and a great opportunity for us to remind you that routine note checking may just prevent a counterfeit from ending up in your till or in your customer’s change. It’s a good habit.

There have been very few counterfeits of the Polymer series since their introduction two years ago, but all bank notes are secure only if you check them. And for the polymer notes, the large window and metallic images make the task quick and easy.


How to check polymer notes

How to check paper notes

Now that the full series of polymer notes is in circulation, if you have doubts about a paper note, refuse it and ask for a polymer note instead.

Report it: What to do with suspect notes

Be vigilant:  Historically, when a new series of bank notes is introduced, counterfeiters make one final push to target the outgoing series. They also tend to target the $20, since it’s the most frequently used note and less closely scrutinized.

Cliquez ici pour visualiser l’information en français.

Please contact the Bank of Canada for more information or to book a customized training session.

Learn more: bankofcanada.ca/banknotes • 1 888 303-8212



Ted Mieszkalski
, Senior Regional Representative (Currency)
, Prairies, Nunavut and Northwest Territories
, Bank of Canada 
(403) 215-6704

February 28th is Change Your Password Day!

Change your password on February 28th at 10:00 am and then tweet you support with the hashtag: #ABfraud2014

The Alberta Community Crime Prevention Association (ACCPA) is pleased to host fraud prevention initiatives throughout Alberta this March. In an effort to inform people about the importance of protecting privacy and taking responsibility for their “digital footprint” (i.e., the traces of information we leave behind through our emails, online activities, etc.), ACCPA is excited to organize a campaign related to password safety. Please follow the month’s activities on ACCPA’s twitter account, @ABcrimeprevent and using the hashtag, #ABfraud2014

Fraud Prevention Month will kick-off on Friday, February 28, at 10:00 a.m., with an online event titled “Change Your Password Day.” Then during each week in March, key messages associated to password safety on mobile devices, at home and with youth, will be disseminated through social and traditional media. The month will culminate with an event highlighting the importance of the secure disposal of data and electronic devices. Law enforcement and several government, professional and community organizations, will head up this year’s Fraud Prevention Month.

2014 Fraud Conference in Edmonton

2014 Fraud Conference hosted jointly by the Edmonton Chapters of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners and the Institute of Internal Auditors

March is Fraud Prevention Month and two professional associations in Edmonton are joining forces to provide a two-day fraud conference.  The purpose of the conference is for our members to gain valuable anti-fraud and audit-based training techniques from experts in the field, as well as an unparalleled networking opportunity that will assist us to become more effective at fighting fraud.

Our two chapters are collaborating to bring in a world class slate of speakers to our membership during this conference including Edmonton Police Chief, Rod Knecht, and Merwan Saher, the Auditor General of the Province of Alberta.

The conference will be held on March 4-5, 2014 at the Edmonton Petroleum Club.  The conference sold out which shows the ten presenters and two keynote speakers are of interest to all of our members.

“The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners is fortunate to collaborate with the Institute of Internal Auditors to provide audit-based and anti-fraud training to our members in Edmonton and area.  The slate of speakers for this conference is outstanding and will benefit members from both organizations.” - Scott Hood, CFE, President, ACFE – Edmonton Chapter

Contact Information:

  • Scott Hood, President, Edmonton Chapter, Association of Certified Fraud Examiners          780-422-8166 scott.hood@gov.ab.ca
  • Michael Lasic, President, Edmonton Chapter, Institute of International Auditors                  780-969-8328 Michael.Lasic@cwbank.com

Funding Opportunity from the Government of Canada

Communities at Risk: Security Infrastructure Program

On February 14, 2014, the Honourable Stephen Blaney, Minister of Public Safety, announced the next call for proposals for the Communities at Risk: Security Infrastructure Program (SIP). This program is designed to help communities at risk of hate-motivated crime improve their security infrastructure, which will help make Canada safer for all Canadians. For more information about this announcement, click here.

Funding is available to eligible not-for-profit organizations linked to a community at risk of being victimized by hate-motivated crime at or near the project site. The funds are to help with the costs of security infrastructure improvements for places of worship, provincially recognized educational institutions, and community centres in communities at risk of hate-motivated crime.

Applicants not eligible for funding include Crown Corporations, public institutions, for-profit organizations and individuals.

For additional information visit the Public Safety Canada’s Website. To request an application kit, please contact the National Crime Prevention Centre by e-mail at prevention@ps.gc.ca.

Applications are being accepted on an on-going basis this year, and there is no deadline date for submissions. Applicants are therefore encouraged to submit their applications well in advance of the anticipated start date of their project.

Upcoming Environmental Scan

Important Notice

The Alberta Community Crime Prevention Association is currently conducting an environmental scan, which is being administered by University of Calgary students from the department of Development Studies.

The Alberta Community Crime Prevention Association (ACCPA) has been an advocate for crime prevention initiatives since 1989. With an emphasis on awareness and education campaigns, ACCPA has championed proactive measures to prevent crime and to better the safety of Albertans through programs such as Crime Prevention Week and Fraud Prevention Month, as well as hosting crime prevention conferences and workshops, and offering presentations about crime prevention.

In order to improve the efficacy of ACCPA’s work and to assist ACCPA with its future planning, they wish further develop their network with the different crime prevention initiatives throughout Alberta. Collectively, this information will allow ACCPA to better cooperate with organizations across the province and to strengthen its position as the information resource “hub” for crime prevention in Alberta. The environmental scan is essential in helping to inform future initiatives.

The questions involved in this scan are for the purpose of creating an inventory of crime prevention initiatives for use by ACCPA as well as by local and/or regional crime prevention programs throughout the province. Should you have any questions concerning this survey, please feel free to contact Dr. Winterdyk or Ms. Jones at the ACCPA office at (403) 313-2566.

Thank you for your time and cooperation!