Seniors in Oak Park, stay safe from crime

crimes against seniorsIt’s sad but true. There are bad people are out there. While crimes committed against senior citizens are not as common as crimes committed against younger adults, it is every bit, if not more, disturbing. It’s hard to fathom someone hurting or scamming an older person, but it happens.

Below are some suggestions about safety and staying safe from cons. Those who provide elder care should inform seniors of these guidelines.

Tips to Keep Safe from

  • Be sure that all doors, locks, and windows are strong and cannot be broken.
  • Keep all doors and windows locked especially when out of the house.
  • Make a list of valuable belongings, with pictures if desired, and keep track of this list by keeping it in a safe place.
  • Ask the local police department to mark valuable property with an I.D. number.
  • When strangers are at the door, check through a peephole or ask for identity before opening the door.
  • Do not keep large amounts of money at home.
  • Know your neighbors. You can watch out for each other.
  • Stay alert in public places.
  • If you drive, lock the doors at all times.
  • Do not open car door or roll down windows for strangers – ever.
  • Park in well-lit parking areas.
  • Carry your purse close to your body when walking outdoors with the strap over the shoulder and across the chest.
  • If you are in the process of being robbed, do not resist and hand over belongings to avoid getting hurt.
  • Avoid a regular banking routine that involved transporting money on the same day of the week during the same times. Note, social security checks and pension can be directly deposited into your bank account.
  • Never carry large amounts of cash on your person, and put credit cards or wallets within inside pockets.
  • Do not keep credit cards and checkbooks together so as to prevent signature forging if the two are stolen together.

Avoiding Cons
Senior citizens can be taken advantage of through telephone, internet, insurance, or home repair scams. Sometimes older adults are taken advantage of by people they know and think they can trust. Here are some tips for avoiding possible cons:

  • Do not feel hesitant to hang up on telemarketers to protect yourself from possible bullying, suggestiveness, or false information.
  • Never give personal information such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, or bank account numbers over the phone.
  • Do not take money out of your account when instructed to by a stranger. A common scam involves strangers pretending to be bank tellers and asking people to take money out of their accounts. Real banks never use these methods.
  • Be cautious of deals that sound too good to be true or involve presenting large amounts of money up front with promises of receiving money later.
  • Checking with the local Better Business Bureau for more information about the validity of companies.
  • Be cautious of people going door to door and offering home repair services. They may not be properly trained and can overcharge for services. If you employ someone for this kind of work, check references, get an agreement in writing for the services, and never pay in advance.

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Oak Park, River Forest, Forest Park, Berwyn, Elmwood Park, Chicago, Riverside, North Riverside, Cicero, Brookfield, Maywood, Melrose Park, Broadview, Lyons, Galewood, and River Grove