Safety Throughout Your Life

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Safety Throughout Your Life
Version: 1.0 (October 2, 2012)
1
Presentation’s Goal:
To examine the various crimes against persons
from your age group and to look at what
preventative measures can be taken to prevent
them.
2
Objectives
‣ Review current data and future projections
‣ Review demographics
‣ Learn how you feel about crime
‣ Examine the most frequent crimes that occur
including financial crimes, property crimes, violent
crimes, and abuse
‣ Learn preventative measures to stay safe
3
What does the data indicate?
4
Elders Today
‣ A large demographic group
‣ Estimated 37 million
Americans. (That’s 1 in 10.)
‣ Constitutes 12 percent of the
U.S. population
5
More people getting older
‣ Americans 65 years old or older are a fast-growing
demographic group.
‣ In 2012, the baby boom generation will begin to
turn 66.
‣ By 2030, it is estimated that there will be 72 million
seniors. This is equivalent to one in five Americans!
6
Predictions for elders:
Elders will live longer. A larger demographic
may make it possible for greater victimization.
7
Elders and Crime
8
Fear of crime
‣ Two-thirds of elders believe they will inevitably be
victims.
‣ Many elders alter their lifestyles because they fear
being victimized.
‣ Almost half of those age 75 or older are afraid to
leave their homes after dark.
‣ One-third of elders say fear of crime has
contributed to a sense of loneliness and isolation.
9
Fear of crime (continued)
‣ Other reasons why crime prevention is
important to elders
•
Potential recovery from physical or financial
injury is often limited.
•
Loss of money or physical faculties have more
severe effects than on other age groups.
•
Media frequently portray the elderly as victims
or, at least, as being vulnerable.
10
Most common types of crimes
against elders
Financial
crimes
Financial criminals generally seek to take cash, credit,
credit rating, or other assets by deception.
Property
crimes
Property crime is any crime when money or valuables are
damaged or stolen from a person, home, or business
without direct personal contact.
Violent
crimes
A violent crime or crime of violence is a crime in which the
offender uses or threatens to use violent force upon the
victim.
Elder
abuse
Elder abuse is a general term used to describe certain
types of harm to older adults.
11
Financial Crimes
‣ These crimes include:
•
Fraud
•
Scams
•
Identity theft
•
Healthcare fraud
12
Financial Crimes (continued)
‣ Financial criminals generally seek to take cash,
credit, credit rating, or other assets by deception.
‣ These are very capable criminals. Many have
excellent people skills and/or talent with computers
and similar electronic gear.
‣ Robbery involves a confrontation and the threat or
use of force, but financial crimes often involve
people who are pleasant and seemingly helpful.
13
Why are elders frequently the target
of financial crimes?
■ Seniors often have accumulated resources.
Many own their homes and have insurance,
pension plans, savings, stocks and bonds, and
similar assets that may not always be closely
monitored.
14
Why are elders frequently the
target of financial crimes? (continued)
‣ Vulnerabilities based on lifestyle
•
Many are accessible by telephone and mail,
have time to listen, are too polite to hang up,
keep assets readily available, have limited
experience with investments, can no longer
perform home repairs, and are deeply
concerned with maintaining finances to last
them through their lives.
15
Why are elders frequently the
target of financial crimes? (continued)
‣ Vulnerabilities based on lifestyle
•
Many are isolated by disability, fear of
violence in the community, lack of peer
friendships, or lack of transportation.
•
Many are trusting or complacent or forgetful
of details and may be embarrassed to admit
they were victims.
16
‣
Fraud
Fraud involves deceit in the
commission of a financial
crime.
‣ Those who commit fraud
offer prizes, deals,
opportunities, and bargains.
‣ They may advertise with a
teaser (e.g., “Earn money
working at home!”) or with a
phone call announcing a
“golden opportunity to
invest.”
17
Fraud (continued)
‣ Fraud can take many forms.
•
Examples include home repairs, auto
repairs, new carpet or appliances at bargain
rates, work-at-home schemes, weight loss
and similar health-related programs, stock
and related investments, overseas
investments, overseas lottery prizes,
amazing deals on commodities trades, and
more.
18
Fraud (continued)
‣ Older people are major targets—they
make up about 12 percent of the
population, but 37 percent of telemarketing
victims, according to one study. A
telemarketing fraud artist told
investigators, “It is an article of faith in this
business to go after the old folks.”
19
Identity Theft
‣ A growing threat:
More than 10 million
Americans per year
are victims of this
crime; although
seniors are currently
a small percentage of
that number.
20
How Identity Theft Begins:
‣ There are many ways that a criminal can capture
key information about an individual.
•
A “pre-approved” credit card mailing
•
A reply to a phony request to verify account
information
•
A bill from a credit card company
•
A receipt with a name and card number
•
A list that a computer hacker has stolen and sold
•
Mail or bills from discarded trash
•
Stolen wallets or purses
21
Identity Theft (continued)
‣ The criminal uses
information to make a
purchase or obtain additional
information about a person’s
identity.
•
Social Security number
•
Bank account number
•
Credit card number
•
Driver’s license number
22
Identity Theft (continued)
‣ The criminal then exploits the identity by:
•
Piling up charges on an account
•
Taking money from a bank account
•
Opening a new account
•
Applying for a loan
23
Discovering the Theft
‣ Eventually the exploitation is discovered
when the victim:
•
Receives a bank statement with unknown
transactions
•
Finds newly created credit card accounts
•
Tries to apply for a loan and is denied
•
Is arrested for a crime committed by the thief
when using the stolen identity
24
Reporting and Restoring the
Identity
‣ The victim reports the identity theft to the
police and to the major credit bureaus.
‣ The victim asks the credit bureaus to note
the crime on his or her credit reports.
‣ Depending on the state, the victim may
need to consult with a local victims’
assistance agency or an attorney for
specific steps that can be helpful or
necessary.
25
Reporting and Restoring the
Identity (continued)
‣ The victim should also file a complaint
through the Federal Trade Commission
registry at www.ftc.gov.
‣ The victim needs to complete an affidavit
of identity theft, available at www.ftc.gov’s
identity theft section.
26
Preventing Identity Theft
‣ Make sure you are aware of these prevention
tips:
•
Shred all discarded mail with personal
information.
•
Routinely monitor financial accounts and
billing statements.
•
Make a copy of everything in their wallet in
case it is lost or stolen.
•
Keep records of conversations and copies of
all correspondence.
27
Preventing Financial Crimes
■ If someone makes an offer that seems too
good to be true, assume that it is too good to
be true!
28
Preventing Financial Crimes
(continued)
‣ Demand details in writing via U.S. mail and
save the envelope, which permits the U.S.
Postal Inspection Service to help
investigate any criminal acts.
‣ Assume that anyone who “must have an
answer immediately” is trying to get you to
act before you think. Insist on time to
investigate the offer on your own.
29
Preventing Financial Crimes
(continued)
‣ Keep track of
everything you own that
is a financial asset.
‣ Monitor credit accounts,
bank statements, stock
and pension fund
statements, properties
you own, and similar
assets.
30
Financial Exploitation
‣ Many criminals consider senior citizens easy
targets for scams because they:
•
May have a “nest egg” to spend or invest
•
Might be lonely and more willing to talk to
strangers
•
Are less likely to report fraud than other age
groups
•
May not have their partner and confidant to
talk to
31
Preventing Financial Exploitation
‣ Minimize isolation
•
Family and friends can help with early
detection.
‣ Formal credit checks of elder’s finances
‣ Background checks on caregivers or people
close to possible victim
32
Financial Exploitation Warning
Signs
‣ Overdrawn bank accounts
‣ Junk mail piling up at home
‣ Numerous phone calls from numbers
child/caregiver doesn’t recognize
‣ “Gimme” gifts—cheap, useless items like
whistles, hats, rulers, or bumper stickers
33
Telemarketing Fraud
‣ Criminals use high-pressure sales tactics
and psychology to exploit the trust of
victims. Remember:
•
Offers that seem too good to be true usually
are.
•
You do not have to be polite to salespeople.
•
When on the phone, always feel free to say
“No,” and hang up. It’s not rude – it’s shrewd.
34
Telemarketing Tip #1
‣ Never give out personal
information over the phone
unless you initiated the call
and trust the person or
agency receiving the call.
Legitimate callers will not ask
for this information.
•
“I don’t give out personal
information over the phone.
I’ll contact the company
directly and provide them
with the necessary
information.”
35
Telemarketing Tip #2
‣ If the caller says
something is free, then
they shouldn’t have to
pay to receive it.
‣ They should not need to
pay handling charges or
taxes.
•
“I shouldn’t have to
send money for
something that’s free.”
36
Telemarketing Tip #3
‣ “Limited time offers” should
not require an immediate
decision.
‣ Legitimate callers will not
rush you.
‣ You should sleep on it for a
day or two.
•
“I’d like some time to think
about this. Tell me how I
can get in touch with you.
If I’m interested, I’ll call you
back.”
37
Telemarketing Tip #4
‣ Be wary of any caller that tries to convince
you not to speak with anyone about the
call.
•
“I’d like to take some time to discuss this with
my family and friends, and I’ll get back to you
if I’m still interested.”
38
Telemarketing Tip #5
‣ It can be hard to understand the details of
an offer.
‣ Request to receive details in the mail.
‣ All legitimate business offers and
investments should be able to comply.
•
“If you can’t mail me the information, then I
can’t talk to you.”
39
Property Crimes Against Elders
40
Property Crimes
‣ Property crimes
against elders include
•
Burglary
•
Theft
41
+90%
More than nine out of ten
crimes against the elderly
are property crimes.
42
Property Crimes (continued)
‣ Property crimes, not violent crimes,
represent the highest share of crimes
against those 65 years old or older.
‣ This includes burglary from a business or
residence and auto theft.
‣ Victims of property crimes suffer financial
losses and may feel violated and continue
to feel unsafe long after the crime.
43
Preventing Property Crime at
Home
‣ Set up timed lights and have a trusted neighbor
pick up mail and newspapers while you are
away.
‣ Make sure your windows and house number
are visible from the street. Illuminate doorways
and walkways.
‣ Trim shrubs.
‣ Ask the police department to perform a security
survey.
44
Violent Crimes
45
Violent Crimes
‣ Seniors experience the lowest number of
victimizations and lowest rates of victimizations
when compared with the general population.
‣ The violent victimization rate of seniors has
declined by more than 22 percent since 2001.
46
Violent Crimes (continued)
‣ Elders are victimized at an annual rate of 2.8
per 1,000 persons.
‣ Robbery disproportionately affects seniors. It
accounts for a quarter of the violent crimes
against seniors, but only one-eighth of the
violent crimes experienced by persons ages 12
to 64.
47
Preventing Violent Crimes
‣ Remember that most violent crimes (except
robbery and purse snatching) take place
between people known to each other.
‣ Walk assertively, but not aggressively, in public
areas.
‣ When going outside, go with a friend if
possible.
48
Preventing Violent Crimes (continued)
‣ Carry only the cash and/or credit cards that are
immediately needed.
‣ Don’t take shortcuts through deserted or dark
areas. Stay where there are lights and people.
‣ When traveling, check with hotel staff about
areas that should be avoided.
‣ If you’re confronted by a robber, hand over
your money or valuables. They’re not worth
your life.
49
Elder Abuse
50
Elder Abuse
‣ Approximately 500,000 elders are victims of
domestic abuse each year.
‣ Estimates are that only 16 percent of cases are
reported.
‣ Family members are frequent offenders; adult
children are responsible for 47.3 percent; other
family members, 8.7 percent; spouses, 19.3
percent.
51
Elder Abuse (continued)
‣ These types of crimes include
•
Physical abuse
•
Sexual abuse
•
Emotional or psychological abuse
•
Neglect
•
Abandonment
•
Financial or material exploitation
•
Self-neglect
52
Possible Signs of Physical Abuse of
Elders
‣ Although one sign might not indicate abuse,
many of these are common.
•
Bruises, pressure marks, broken bones,
abrasions, and burns
53
Possible Signs of Neglect of Elders
‣ More possible signs of elder abuse
•
Sudden changes in financial situations may
be the result of exploitation.
•
Bedsores, unattended medical needs, poor
hygiene, and unusual weight loss are
indicators of possible neglect.
54
You don’t need absolute proof to
report abuse. Even if you just
suspect abuse, call for help.
55
What To Do About Elder Abuse
‣ Keep in touch with older friends and gently
question any signs of physical, financial, or
emotional abuse that you suspect.
‣ Don’t be surprised if a friend denies abuse;
remain in touch, concerned, and observant.
56
What To Do About Elder Abuse
(continued)
‣ If signs persist, call your local police
department. If you are uncertain, check with
someone at a senior center or another friend.
‣ Share information, arrange talks by
professionals in the field, and set up
connections to helplines that can advise
seniors on preventing and reporting abuse.
57
General Safety Tips
‣ Follow these tips at home:
•
Use sturdy metal or solid wood doors, and install
and use deadbolt locks (1 ½ inch throw or greater).
•
Use wide-angle viewers in doors at different
heights if necessary.
•
Light up entry doors; use motion detectors or
floodlights.
•
Trim shrubbery around doors and windows and
make sure the address is displayed for emergency
personnel.
58
General Safety Tips (continued)
‣ At home
•
Ask for photo
identification from
service, delivery or
utility workers before
letting them in.
•
Ask law enforcement
for a free home security
survey.
•
Consider installing an
alarm.
59
General Safety Tips (continued)
‣ Out and About
•
Go out with friends and family, not alone.
•
Walk purposely and know where they are.
•
Walk down the middle of the sidewalk rather
than along doorways or the curb.
•
Keep purses close to their bodies and wallets in
front pants or jacket pocket.
•
Carry only cash, credit cards, and ID that will be
needed.
60
General Safety Tips (continued)
‣ Out and About
•
Use busier, better-lit stops on public transit.
•
Sit near the bus driver or with several other
passengers.
•
If someone seems to be following you, turn in the
opposite direction or cross the street. If they
persist, approach the nearest group of people
and ask for help.
•
If someone or something makes you feel uneasy,
trust your instincts and leave.
61
General Safety Tips (continued)
‣ In the Neighborhood
•
Know your neighbors.
•
Report crime and suspicious activities to
police.
•
Start or strengthen a Neighborhood Watch
group.
•
Find out if their area has community policing,
and get to know the officers assigned to their
neighborhood.
62
Emergency Preparedness
‣ No one expects to deal
with disaster, but
everyone can prepare for
them. Senior citizens
should be ready to deal
with emergencies like
•
Earthquakes
•
Power outages
•
Flooding
•
Fires
•
Toxic spills
63
Emergency Preparedness (continued)
‣ Make sure seniors stock up on supplies for at least
three days
•
Food, water
•
First aid kit, medicine
•
Phone numbers of local and
nonlocal relatives
•
Personal hygiene supplies
•
Battery-powered radio,
flashlight
•
Change of clothes, extra keys
•
Cash, change, credit cards
64
Emergency Preparedness
(continued)
‣ Checklist
•
Post emergency phone numbers by phone.
•
Arrange for someone to check on you.
•
Plan ahead for transportation.
•
Have an evacuation plan and practice it.
•
Find the safe places in your home for each
type of emergency.
65
Thank you.
Sean McGee and Dusty Johnson
UAF PD/CTC Law Enforcement Academy
[email protected] and
[email protected]
66
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