Safety for Seniors
Crime prevention is everyone's responsibility, not just a job for law enforcement. Seniors can learn how to protect themselves from crime by following these simple, common-sense suggestions. Share these tips with your neighbors and friends and make it tough for criminals to work in your neighborhood.
- Always keep your doors and windows locked. Install dead-bolt locks on all of your doors.
- Keep your home well lit at night, inside and out. Keep curtains closed at night.
- Install a peephole in your front door so you can see callers without opening the door.
- Ask for proper identification from delivery persons or strangers. Don't be afraid of asking; if they are legitimate they won't mind.
- Never give your credit card, phone card, social security, or bank account number to anyone over the phone unless you placed the call.
- If a stranger asks to use your telephone, offer to place the call for them yourself. Never let a stranger into your home.
- Do not leave notes on your door when you are gone, and do not hide your keys under the welcome mat or in other conspicuous places.
- Never give out information over the phone indicating you are alone or will be away from home at a certain time.
- When you are going to be gone for more than one day, make sure your home looks and sounds occupied. Use automatic timers to turn on lights, radio or television.
While You're out
- Carry your purse very close to you. Do not dangle it from your arm. Also, never leave your purse in a shopping cart.
- Do not carry more cash than is necessary.
- Avoid walking alone at night. Try to have a friend accompany you in high risk areas, even during the daytime.
- Have your paychecks or government checks sent directly to your bank account.
- Never withdraw money from your bank accounts for anyone except YOURSELF.
- Be wary of con artists and get-rich schemes that probably are too good to be true. They usually are not good or true.
If You Are a Victim at Home
- If you arrive at home and suspect a stranger may be inside, don't go in.
Leave quietly and call 911 to report the crime.
- If you are attacked on the street, make as much noise as possible by calling for help or blowing a whistle. Do not pursue your attacker. Call 911 and report the crime as soon as possible.
- If you have been swindled or conned, report the crime to your local police or district attorney's office. Con artists count on their victim's reluctance to admit they've been duped, but if you delay you may help them get away with their crime. Remember, if you never report the crime, they are free to cheat others again and you have no chance of ever getting your money back.