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Crimes against the elderly are a disturbing and rising trend observed by police departments across the United States. The elderly are seen as easy targets by scam artists, contractors and sometimes by their own family members. These are some tips for the elderly, their family members and neighbors to ensure their safety.

  1. Keep eye out for your older family members or neighbors especially if they live alone. Be observant of mail backing up at the door, vehicles not moving for an extended period of time, and seasonal issues such as windows closed in the heat of summer.
  2. Thoroughly check the credentials of all service contractors. Contact the borough’s L&I department to assure they are properly licensed and ensured, ask for references and be suspicious of door-to-door contractors offering service.
  3. Never store large sums of cash in your house.
  4. Do not give personal identification information over the phone or Internet such as date of birth or social security numbers. Respond to the request by simply stating you are not comfortable releasing that information. If a sales person insists, terminate the call.
  5. Be Very Suspicious of notification of lottery winnings, especially if sent from out of the United States. First of all, entering international lotteries is illegal and it is a guaranteed scam, especially if you did not enter one.
  6. Be cautious of strangers asking for assistance at your door. Do not let them in but tell them your will call 911 for them.
  7. Always ask for identification from contractors, such as PECO or cable providers. Leave them outside and call their supervisor to find out why work was scheduled.

Call 911 for any suspicious activity at your residence or if you feel you have become the victim of a scam.