Scam Prevention Tips for Seniors
Seniors in our community have recently been victimized in scams that have involved the suspect approaching victims, pretending to be their relative or friend with the intention of stealing money from them. We are reminding our senior citizens to be certain who they are interacting with, taking into their home or giving money to. If you are confronted with a similar situation to what has been described above, please contact the New Westminster Police immediately by dialing 9-1-1.
Some strategies to consider:
- Beware of phone calls asking for personal information or surveys.
- Beware of advertisements or phone calls offering credit or pretending to be a lottery.
- Do not become pressured to give money, be involved or purchase anything you know little about.
- Never invite strangers into your home.
- Report all suspicious activity to the police.
- If you feel any apprehension, suspicion or fear, report it to someone you can trust.
- Keep storefronts clear of signs and posters; doing this will potentially allow the opportunity for passers-by and police to see inside the store during a robbery.
- Have the cash register positioned so that it will be visible to passers-by and police from outside.
- Keep all entrances and exits well-lit along with the store’s interior in order to deter potential robbers.
- Keep all side and rear doors locked at all times.
- Try to have more than one staff member on shift, especially during the night.
- Before closing, check all rooms, washrooms and offices for anyone possibly hiding there.
- Install height markers at exits.
- If your business is equipped with a video camera system, ensure that it is operating properly and the cameras are aligned properly facing the cash register and entrances.
- Insure your alarms are in good working order.
- Communicate with your neighbors by keeping an eye out for one another you can help prevent criminal activity.
- Watch for suspicious people outside; if you see someone acting suspicious, call police.
- Keep as little cash on premises as possible.
- Make bank deposits during daytime hours and make frequent deposits, varying your times and routes taken.
- If possible, do not go to the bank alone.
- Conceal the money during trips to the bank.
What to do during a robbery
- Remain calm.
- Do not argue.
- Do not fight.
- Do not resist.
- Do what the robber asks you to do.
- Do not make sudden movements; if you need to make movements, tell the robber beforehand so it is not a surprise to them.
- If a weapon is indicated, assume there is a weapon even if it is not seen.
- Only activate your silent alarm if you can do so without the robber seeing.
- Try to pay close attention to details of the robber so you are able to describe him/her later to police; try to note their clothing, height, weight, accents, differences in physical appearance, as well as any marks, scars or tattoos.
- When the robber leaves, watch to see what direction they go and if they get in a vehicle, try to get the license plate number and description of the vehicle.
- Do not follow the robber.
What to do after the robbery
- Immediately call the police.
- Ask any witness to stay until police arrive; if they are unwilling to wait, ask them for their name, telephone number and address.
- Lock the doors and do not allow anyone in except police.
- Write down any details about the robber that may be helpful to police, such as physical description, the color and model of car and license plate number. Ask witnesses to do the same.
- Do not discuss details about the robbery or the robber with other witnesses.
- Do not touch anything the robber may have touched.
- If a note was used, do not touch it or allow anyone else to touch it.