As people grow older, their chances of being victims of crime decrease dramatically. But a lifetime of experience, coupled with the physical problems associated with aging, often make older Americans fearful.
they're on the lookout constantly for physical attack and burglary,
seniors are not as alert to frauds and con games; which, in reality, are
the greatest crime threats to seniors' well being and trust. In order
to conquer fear and prevent crime, it is important to take these
- Go with friends or family, not alone.
- Carry your purse close to your body, not dangling by the straps.
- Put a wallet in an inside coat or front pant's pocket.
- Don't carry credit cards you don't need or large amounts of cash.
- Use direct deposit for Social Security and other regular checks.
- Whether you're a passenger or driver, keep car doors locked. Be
particularly alert in parking lots and garages. Park near an entrance.
- Sit close to the driver or near the exit while riding the bus, train, or subway.
- If someone or something makes you uneasy, trust your instincts and leave.
BE WARY OF CON ARTISTS
- Ask for photo identification from service or delivery people
before letting them in. If you are the least bit worried, call the
company to verify.
- Don't fall for anything that sounds too
good to be true; like a free vacation, sweepstakes prizes, cures for
cancer and arthritis, or a low-risk, high-yield investment scheme.
- Never give your credit card, phone card, Social Security, or bank
account number to anyone over the phone. It's illegal for telemarketers
to ask for these numbers to verify a prize or gift.
- Don't let
anyone rush you into signing anything like an insurance policy, a sales
agreement, or a contract. Read it carefully and have someone you trust
check it over.
- Beware of individuals claiming to represent
companies, consumer organizations, or government agencies that offer to
recover lost money from fraudulent telemarketers for a fee.
you're suspicious, check it out with the police, the Better Business
Bureau, or local consumer protection office. Call the National Consumers
League Fraud Information Center at (800) 876-7060.
For information about Fire Safety for Seniors