This section has been developed to help warn senior citizens about crimes that are commonly directed toward them.
Ruse Burglary - In this type of crime, the offender may pose as a public utility employee, a roofer, or other service provider and claim they need access to the victim's residence to inspect their water, gas or cable components, recent work done, etc. The offender will then direct the victim to an area of the residence away from where valuables may be stored, which allows his or her accomplice(s) to enter these areas undetected and gather as many items as possible. Victims have also been asked by offenders to come outside of their residence to look at something in their yard while their home is entered by others and burglarized.
Pickpocket - There have been reports of senior citizens being targeted by pickpockets while in public places. In most instances, the victim has been approached while shopping and distracted by one of the offenders, who will begin talking to the victim. The offender may distract the victim by asking them a question or by asking them for assistance. While the victim is distracted, the offender (or accomplice) will go into the victim's purse or pocket and remove the victim's wallet. This crime has been carried out by offenders in crowded elevators as well. It is recommended that wallets and purses be carried in a secure manner to prevent this from occuring.
If you have been a victim of a scam, please don't be embarassed to contact your local police department for help. Too many criminals get away with their crimes because the victim is reluctant to admit they were scammed.
Here are some links to other sites with more information:
Federal Bureau of Investigations Senior Fraud
Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information