FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
CONTACT: Peter Van Delft
SHERIFF CABRAL VISITS DORCHESTER’S KEYSTONE APARTMENTS TO SPEAK ABOUT SENIOR SAFETY
Suffolk County Sheriff Andrea J. Cabral recently visited the Keystone Apartments in Dorchester to speak about public safety for seniors and to provide residents with the opportunity to participate in the Department’s Senior ID Program.
Before her presentation, Sheriff Cabral distributed the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department “Crime Prevention Tips For Seniors” booklet – a publication designed with the goal of imparting safety advice to readers about such topics as: how to avoid identity theft, telephone scams, property theft, muggings, and other crimes; and information about abuses that are heavily targeted at seniors. The Crime Prevention Tips For Seniors booklet also contains important contacts for various public safety agencies, which seniors can utilize in the event that they have been the victims of a crime or scam.
“If you remember only one thing from today, remember this – never, ever, ever let someone into your house that you don’t know or trust,” said Sheriff Cabral. “If an appliance or service company needs to get into your house, you should have them show you their company I.D. card and inspect it carefully before letting them in. If you’re suspicious at all, don’t let them in. You can call their company to verify that they did, in fact, send someone out to your house.”
Sheriff Cabral also warned against giving strangers personal information, especially over the telephone.
“You never want to give your Social Security Number or date of birth over the telephone to anyone you don’t know,” Sheriff Cabral said. “There are thousands of scams out there – people who tell you that you’ve won a contest, or a free vacation, or need you for a special cant–miss investment – all they’re looking for is your Social Security Number so that they can steal your identity and your money from you.”
“No contest or offer should require that you give out your Social Security Number,” Sheriff Cabral continued. “And all someone working one of these scams needs is that number to open a fraudulent account in your name, and you’ll never know it until you get your credit report because they have the bills sent to a P.O. Box.”
Touching upon a number of other topics, including maintaining your safety while riding public transportation, walking in well–lit areas, the proper way to carry a wallet or wear a purse to avoid theft, and keeping car doors locked – among others – Sheriff Cabral acknowledged that the information can seem daunting, but that utilizing it can make a potentially critical difference.
“I know that all of this information can make you start to feel a little bit paranoid about leaving your house or even picking up the phone,” Sheriff Cabral said. “But, really, these are just common–sense tips that can help to keep you safe and prevent you and those you love from being victimized.”
Following the presentation, Sergeant Abe Ayuso and Deputy Mike Reiser of the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department administered the Department’s Senior ID Program.
The program – offered free of charge to Suffolk County seniors aged 65 and older – provides participants with a concise and comprehensive identification card that serves as an important aid to medical responders, should an emergency arise and the holder is unable to communicate. The ID cards include a photo of the cardholder, his or her name, address, and medical history, and the name and phone number of the cardholder’s physician and emergency contact, as well as other pertinent information. In addition, the Senior ID is also accepted as a secondary form of identification by many agencies and institutions around Suffolk County.
For more information about Crime Prevention Tips For Seniors, the Senior ID Program and other Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department community outreach programs, visit www.scsdma.org.