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Old 03-26-2012, 04:25 PM
Howard Hartman Howard Hartman is offline
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Lightbulb Crime Prevention Tips for Senior Citizens

Rockville City Police   
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  •  March 26, 2012


Crime Prevention Tips for Senior Citizens

The Rockville City Police Department would like to provide some crime prevention tips for Senior Citizens.

When you are out…
  • If you must carry a purse, hold it close to your body. Do not dangle it nor leave it unattended in a shopping cart. Always keep your purse closed.
  • Never carry a wallet in your back pocket. Place it inside your front pants pocket or a jacket pocket.
  • Do not carry multiple credit cards or large amounts of cash.
  • Always let someone know when you are going out and when you expect to return.
  • When possible, travel with friends to and from the bank, or the doctor’s office.
  • When using the bus or other public transportation, sit near the driver if possible.
  • When you drive, keep your doors locked and windows up. Park in well-lighted, busy areas. In parking garages, try to park near an entrance.
  • If a friend or a taxi takes you home, ask the driver to wait until you are safely inside. Wave from a window or flash your front porch light to signal you are okay.
  • When approaching your house or car, have your key in hand.
  • Carry a shriek alarm. (Can be purchased at most travel stores or on the Internet.)
  • Communicate the message that you are calm, confident and know where you are going. Trust your instances. If someone or something makes you feel uneasy, uncomfortable, then leave.
When you are at home…
  • Use deadbolt locks on all exterior doors. Keep your doors locked at all times, even when you are inside.
  • Protect your windows and sliding glass doors with good locks or other security devices.
  • When you go out, make your house appear that someone is home, use timers for lights, turn on a radio.
  • Never hide extra keys under doormats, under flowerpots, rocks, etc.
  • If you live alone, don’t advertise it. Use your first initial in phone books, directories and apartment lobbies. When recording your answering machine message, never say “I” in the message, always refer to “we”.
  • Ask for photo identification from service or delivery people before letting them. If you are not sure, call the company to verify.
  • Consider a home alarm system that provides emergency monitoring for burglary, fire and medical emergencies.
  • Get to know your neighbors and keep their phone numbers handy.
  • Have a “buddy” system with a friend to check on each other daily.
  • Participate in a neighborhood watch program.
Watch out for Con Artists…
  • Remember the golden rule…if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Never give your credit card, phone card, social security, or bank account numbers to anyone over the phone. IT IS ILLEGAL FOR TELEMARKETERS TO ASK FOR THESE NUMBERS TO VERIFY A PRIZE/GIFT.
  • Be aware of 900 numbers. The FCC refers to 900 numbers are as “pay per call” services. These services involve the caller having to pay a fee once they have dialed a number starting with 900. The fee is usually based upon a per minute charge. Many scams such as “you’ve have just won the lottery, to claim your prize, call 1-900…”. 900 numbers are also connected to the Adult Entertainment Industry (sex hotlines) as well.
  • Take your time to shop around. Don’t let an aggressive con artist pressure you into making a decision. Request information in writing. Always get a second opinion.
  • If you are suspicious, contact your location Better Business Bureau/Consumer’s Affairs Office.
  • Be aware of home repair scams. Especially after big storms, these cons will peruse a neighborhood looking for their next victim. If you are unsure that the person is a legitimate businessman, ask them for a business card and tell them you will call them back later. Then contact your local government agency or the Better Business Bureau/Consumer Affairs Office to see if they are a reputable/licensed company.
For more information on Senior Citizen Crime Prevention Tips, please go to the National Crime Prevention Council’s website at www.ncpc.org. For information on Consumer Affairs, please go to the Montgomery County Government, Office of Consumer Affairs, www.montgomerycountymd.gov/consumer or the United States Office of Consumer Affairs, www.consumeraffairsusa.org . For more information on consumer protection against 900 numbers please go to the Federal Communications Commission Consumer Information at www.fcc.gov/consumers.

Help us in the fight against crime by not becoming a victim.
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