Safety for Seniors

Senior Citizens are more vulnerable to crimes such as purse snatching, mugging and fraud. You can reduce the opportunities of becoming a victim by being careful and alert.

Out in Public

  • Ladies: if you must carry a purse, hold it close to your body. Don't dangle.
  • Men: carry your wallet in a front or inside pocket, not in a rear pocket.
  • If possible, let someone know where you are going and when you plan on returning, especially if it is for an extended period of time.
  • Avoid dark or deserted routes. If you use a method of public transportation such as a bus, sit near the driver, if possible.
  • Have your car or house key ready as you approach your vehicle or home.
  • When driving your vehicle, keep doors locked and windows up, if possible. Always park in a well-lit, busy area. If you have car trouble, be weary of strangers offering help. If you encounter someone that is questionable, as them to call a service truck or the police for you.
  • If a friend or taxi drops you off at home, ask them to wait until you have safely entered your residence.

Above all, trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable in a situation or place, leave.

At Home

  • Lock all exterior doors with a deadbolt lock and keep them locked at all times, even when you're at home.
  • Lock windows and sliding glass doors with secondary locking devices to prevent lifting and prying.
  • If you will be gone for an extended period of time, make the home appear occupied by using a timer on your home lights or radio.
  • Never let strangers in your home without checking their identification. If you are still not sure, call the company they are representing before letting them in. Use a peephole on your door to see who may be knocking.
  • Do not advertise that you live alone. If you must list your name in phone books and directories, use your first initial only.
  • Know your neighbors and keep their phone numbers ready in case of an emergency.
  • Do not hide extra house keys under a doormat or other obvious location.

Protect Your Money

  • Instead of receiving checks in the mail, have them directly deposited into your bank account.
  • Avoid carrying large sums of money with you, and never display them in public places.
  • Never sign a check or contract until you are sure that it is a legitimate transaction.
  • Never place your purse or wallet on a counter while examining merchandise in a store.

Don't Be Conned

According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), older citizens are victims of fraudulent schemes far out of proportion to their population numbers. Keep informed about the latest con schemes in your community by reading the newspaper or watching the news. Be skeptical about any proposal that sounds too good to be true or has to be kept a secret. Check out any suspicious proposals with friends, lawyers, the police department, Better Business Bureau, or your state or county consumer affairs department.

Be wary of:

  • "Get rich quick" schemes for which you have to put up "good faith" money
  • "Good deals" on expensive repair or home improvement jobs
  • Investments that promise unusually large returns
  • People claiming you owe money for an item ordered by a deceased relative or spouse
  • Work-at-home schemes, door-to-door sales, supplemental Medicare insurance, miracle cures glasses and hearing aids at bargain prices

Call the Amityville Police immediately if you are a victim of fraud. The information you give us is vital in catching the con artist and preventing others from being victimized.