Unscrupulous fraudsters and petty criminals are increasingly preying on vulnerable senior citizens who are seen as “soft targets”.
Roy Rawlins, Managing Director of ADT Johannesburg, says it is important for senior citizens to take extra precautions particularly with the busy festive season approaching.
Here are some valuable hints and tips to bear in mind:
Senior safety begins at home:
– Install and use good locks on doors and windows.
– Don’t hide keys under the doormat, in the mailbox or in a pot plant. If needed, leave a spare key with a family member or a trusted neighbour.
– When service or delivery people come to the door, ask for identification and check with their company if you´re still not 100% certain about their identity.
– Make sure that the street number on your house is large, well-lit and unobstructed so that emergency personnel can find your home quickly when needed.
– If you decide to install an alarm system, consider one that is monitored for burglary, fire and medical emergencies.
– If you live in a retirement home, ensure you have communication with the guard at the main gate.
Stay safe when you go out:
– Preferably go out with family and/or friends rather than on your own.
– Avoid carrying large amounts of cash or valuables but carry a cell phone which you can use in an emergency. Store an emergency number.
– Avoid walking early in the morning or late in the afternoon and try and avoid isolated areas.
– Always let someone know when you are going out alone – a neighbour, family member, or complex guard.
– Always keep your handbag closed and close by and keep your wallet in an inside pocket. Petty criminals know that the elderly prefer cash to credit cards.
– When shopping, never leave your purse unattended in your trolley, even for a second.
– It is advisable to use a direct deposit service for Social Security and other regular cheques.
Don’t fall for con artist’s tricks:
– Be wary of offers if they sound too good to be true, such as a free vacation, miracle cure, sure-fire investment, etc.
– Be wary of anyone requesting personal information such as your credit card and/or banking details. If necessary, ask them for their details and call them back once you have verified that it is a legitimate request
– If someone tries to rush you into signing an insurance policy, sales contract or any other contractual agreement, be suspicious. Read the documentation very carefully, and if possible ask a trusted friend or an advisor to check it too
Issued with compliments of ADT