Ask your grandparents or any elderly citizen, what “crimes” they are most afraid of and more than likley they will say they are afraid of being robbed and /or assaulted when they are out in public. Statisctically, however, their fears are focused on the wrong crimes.

As people grow older their chances of becoming victims of physical attacks or street-crime decreases. Older citizens are more apt to become victims of fraud, scams and con games.  And, they are more apt to be victimized by “polite and apparently trustworthy” individuals rather than by aggressive street-thugs or “suspicious and shifty’criminal types.

Do you know someone who is overly concerned about being victimized? Here are some suggestions they should keep in mind which can reduce anxiety and help prevent crimes:

  • Go places with your friends or family, not alone
  • Carry your purse close to your body, not dangling by the straps
  • Carry your wallet in an inside coat pocket or a front trouser pocket
  • Don’t carry credit cards or large amounts of cash with you if you do not need them
  • Use direct deposit for any checks you receive on a regular basis
  • Whether you are the driver of a vehicle or a passenger, always keep the doors locked
  • Sit close the driver when riding a bus
  • If something or someone makes you feel uneasy, trust your instincts and leave

When it comes to fraud, scams and con games, remember the would-be perpetrators are going to be some of the nicest people you will ever meet. A con artist’s sole purpose is to make you believe that he or she is kind, honest and likable and has only your best interests at heart. Always be cautious and suspicious whenever a stranger wants to be your new best friend-particularly if there is money and/or valuables involved.

Here are some additional tips to prevent fraud:

  • Do not keep large amounts of money in the house
  • If you are in the process of being robbed, do not resist and hand over belongings to avoid getting hurt
  • Do not keep credit cards and checkbooks together so as to prevent signature forging if the two are stolen together
  • Shred personal information before discarding


Excerpt: Security Central Newsletter