Crime Prevention for Senior Citizens
Senior Citizens represent the most rapidly growing segment of the population in the United States. One in every eight Americans is currently age 65 or older, a total of more than 35 million. By the year 2030, the number of senior citizens is expected to exceed 64 million in the U.S.
Fear of Crime
Although national surveys indicate that senior citizens are the least victimized age group, they often exhibit the greatest fear of crime. This fear can at least partially be contributed to their fear of personal vulnerability. Due to the natural consequences of aging, i.e. loss of hearing and/or eyesight along with other chronic and debilitating conditions, senior citizens perceive themselves as more vulnerable to physical injury if attacked. Senior citizens often live in isolation due to the loss of family members. They are also more likely to live in inner-city neighborhoods that may have high crime rates.
- The first thing to remember-and always bears in mind-anything that sounds too good to be true probably is.
- If you receive a telephone call from someone telling you you've won a prize and asking for a payment to buy something, for processing or administrative fees, for customs, taxes, or for any reason, it's probably a scam because legitimate sweepstakes or prize offers don't ask for payment because it's illegal.
- If a person says you have to take the offer immediately or you'll miss the opportunity, it's probably a scam because legitimate companies don't pressure people to act without time to look into the deal.
- If a caller refuses to send you written information before you commit to anything, it's probably a scam because legitimate companies are always glad to send information about what they are offering.
- If a caller claims you can make huge profits in an investment with no risk, it's probably a scam because all investments are risky and legitimate companies must tell consumers about the possible risks involved.
- If a caller claims you can make huge profits through a franchise or other business opportunity with little or no effort, it's probably a scam because all business ventures require knowledge and effort on the part of the buyers, and no legitimate companies would guarantee profits.
- If a caller asks for a donation but won't tell you exactly how the money will be used and how you can verify the charity and what it does, it's probably a scam because legitimate charities are willing to say what percentage of contributions are used for services and how much goes to overhead and fundraising. They are also willing to tell consumers who they can check with to confirm that the charity is legitimate.
- If a caller insists you send your payment by a private courier or wire money, it's probably a scam because legitimate companies don't try to keep people from checking the deal out and changing their minds or try to evade the postal authorities by demanding immediate payment by courier or wire.
- If a company asks for cash, it's probably a scam because legitimate companies don't ask for cash; but con artists do. They often have trouble obtaining merchant approval from credit card companies and they also want to be difficult to trace.
- If a caller asks for your social security number, it's probably a scam because legitimate companies do not request your social security number unless you are applying for credit and they need to check your credit report.
- If a caller asks for your credit card number, bank account number, or other financial information when you aren't buying anything or paying with those accounts, it's probably a scam because legitimate companies only ask for financial information to bill you or debit your account for purchases you've agreed to make.
- If a company calls you relentlessly or after you've asked not to be called anymore, it's probably a scam because legitimate companies will take "no" for an answer and will take you off their calling lists if you ask. Con artists will keep calling to wear you down or get more money from you.
- If a company offers to get you a loan, credit, a credit card or to "repair your bad credit if you pay an up-front fee", it's probably a scam because legitimate lenders and credit card companies do not demand payment in advance, and no one can get bad information removed from a credit file if it is accurate.