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For more information on how to detect scams, or for assistance, contact:

Cindy Sharp

cindy.sharp@lakelandgov.net

Elderly Crimes

Senior Citizens
Safety Tips

As people grow older, their chances of being victims of crime decreases dramatically. But, a lifetime of experience coupled with physical problems associated with aging, often make older Americans fearful.

Even though they may be on the lookout constantly for physical attack and burglary, they’re not as alert for frauds and con games. In reality the greatest crime threat to seniors’ well-being and trust.

Here are some tips on how to avoid becoming a victim as a senior citizen:

  • Telephone Callers
  • Safety on the street
  • Guidelines for Women
  • At The Door
  • Telemarketers

 

Most  of the time, the person at your door will be there for a legitimate reason, whether he/she is a friend or a stranger. If the caller is a recognized friend, there should be no problem. If the caller is a stranger, you should immediately become alert. Never open your door to a stranger. You should have a one-way peephole installed in the door that allows you to see who the caller is. The 180 degree, one-way peephole is inexpensive and easy to install.

Telephone Callers

  • If you do not know the caller, do not volunteer information
  • Should the caller ask “Who is This?”
  • You should respond “Whom are you calling?” If you do not receive an appropriate response, hang up.

Safety On The Street

Do not have an exaggerated fear of crime; however recognize the fact that it can happen to you. You must ask yourself: Just How Real is this threat?
Is it safe to walk in my neighborhood during day or night?  Have there been street crimes, purse snatchings, robberies or assaults?

The majority of street crimes are crimes of   opportunity. The thief is looking for an easy target: a woman walking down a quiet street, or a man who has just cashed his pension check. The most common street crime is purse snatching. The thief approaches you from behind or face on, catches you unaware, grabs your purse and runs. It happens so quickly that you do not have a chance to see who the thief is. Never carry a large sum of money.

Guidelines for Women

Is it always necessary to carry your purse? If you are going to the store for groceries, take along only the amount you feel you will need. Be alert when you are carrying a purse on the street or in a store. Use a shoulder strap model and keep tucked between your body and your arm. Do not dangle a purse by the straps or hold a clutch-style purse just in the hand. Do Not wrap purse straps around your wrist or you could be dragged along or knocked to the ground in the event of a “snatch”. Should your purse be snatched, try to remember the most significant physical characteristics about the offender.

  • a facial scar
  • a physical deformity
  • a distinctive facial characteristic

This description information is more important than the color of the jacket that can be easily discarded.  CALL THE POLICE IMMEDIATELY or ask someone to call for you. Your best defense is practicing Crime Prevention Techniques. Learn what you can do to protect yourself. It may mean going shopping in pairs or in a group, or changing your travel route to avoid a certain street corner or youth hangout.  Don’t be embarrassed to call the police, it is their job to assist you and investigate problem areas.

TELEMARKETING FRAUD

Thousands of Americans continue to receive unsolicited phone calls from telemarketers trying to sell a variety of products and services. The majority of the telemarketers represent legitimate businesses. Unfortunately others do not.  Unscrupulous telemarketers are the smoothest of operators, they are successful at swindling consumers out of millions of dollars. 

According to the Better Business Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission, here’s how you can reduce your risk of becoming a victim of telemarketing fraud:

  • Be skeptical of “to good to be true” telephone offers.
  • Resist pressure for an immediate decision and ask for follow up materials my mail that explains the offer in full detail.
  • Never provide your credit card checking account, savings account numbers or social security numbers to a caller from an unfamiliar company without first checking the company out through your Better Business Bureau, State Consumer Protection Agency or the State Attorney General.
  • Ask to be placed on the company’s DO NOT CALL LIST to reduce the amount of unsolicited, unwanted phone calls.

IN AN EMERGENCY CALL:      9-1-1
(Police, Fire, Ambulance)

NON-EMERGENCY CALL :  863-834-6900