SENIOR SAFETY AND SECURITYSDPD Crime PreventionOctober 6, 2017CONTENTSAT HOMEInside a Home, Apartment, or CondoAnswering the DoorAnswering the Phone and Talking to StrangersReturning HomeParking in a Common GarageOUT AND ABOUTOut Walking or RunningWhat to Carry When Out Walking or RunningOn a Date or at a PartyAt WorkWhen Completing an Online or Other PurchaseOn ElevatorsWhen Meeting Someone NewWhen DrivingIn Parking Lots, Garages, and Other PlacesWhen Riding on a Bus or TrolleyUsing an ATMPROTECTING YOUR ASSETSAsset ManagementLegal ServicesInvestmentsPreventing Identity Theft and ScamsUsing Computers and the InternetUsing Wi-Fi, Laptops, and Mobile Devices in Public PlacesDoing BusinessBankingMail and Phone CallsIF YOU ARE A CRIME VICTIMThreats and AttacksStalkingDomestic ViolenceObtaining a TROHELPING TO STOP MEDICARE FRAUDOBAMACARE AND MEDICAREELDER AND DEPENDENT ADULT ABUSESigns of Elder AbuseSigns of Self-NeglectTenant’s Rights1

Preventing Elder AbuseSELECTION OF ELDER CARE FACILITIES AND CAREGIVERSNursing HomesResidential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFEs) or Assisted-LivingFacilitiesHome Health Agencies (HHAs)Home Care Aide Organizations (HCAOs)Hiring an Independent Home Care Aide (IHCA)Supervising a Home CaregiverAdult Day Services CentersHANDLING AN ELDER’S HEALTH CARE, FINANCES, AND ASSETSFUNERAL AND CEMETERY ARRANGEMENTSLOST PERSON WITH ALZHEIMER’S DISEASEThis paper contains tips on personal safety and security for seniors at home and away from home in varioussituations. They are simple, common sense suggestions that will help keep you from being an easy target fora criminal. Also included are tips on protecting your assets, reporting crimes, helping to stop Medicare fraud,elder and dependant adult abuse, selecting elder care facilities and caregivers, handling and elder’s finances,making funeral and cemetery arrangements, and reporting a lost person with Alzheimer’s Disease.Additional tips on cybersecurity, home security, vehicle security, travel safety and security, personal safetyand security, child safety and security, preventing crimes against businesses, preventing fraud and identitytheft, reporting crime and suspicious activities, reporting suspicious activities for terrorism prevention,reporting disorder and other problems, obtaining crime information, interactions with homeless people,starting a Neighborhood Watch program, etc. can be found under Prevention Tips, Community Resources andResponsibilities, and Programs and Activities on the Crime Prevention and Education page of the SDPDwebsite at HOMEThe following situations are considered: inside a home, answering the door, answering the phone and talkingto strangers, returning home, and parking in a common gated garage.Inside a Home, Apartment, or Condo Keep all doors and windows locked. They can be left partially open for ventilation only if they havesecurity bars or screens, or secondary locking devices are used. These devices vary with window type,e.g., thumbscrew-type locks can be used in the tracks of sliding-glass windows.Lock gates after each use. Keep garage doors closed.List only your last name and initials on your mailbox or in a phone directory.Don’t give your name or whereabouts on your answering machine message. Never say you aren’t home.Just ask the caller to leave a message.Leave outside lights on after dark or have outside lights controlled by a motion detector. Keep porchesand all entrances well lighted. Check bulbs regularly.Keep drapes or blinds closed at night but leave some lights on.Leave drapes or blinds partially open during the day.Never dress in front of windows. Always close the drapes or blinds.Know your neighbors and keep their phone numbers handy.Have a friend or neighbor check on you daily if you are home alone. Or call your local SDPD Division torequest YANA (You Are Not Alone) visits. SDPD Division addresses and phone numbers are listed at theend of this paper.Try not to be alone in a laundry room or any other common area in an apartment building or condo.2

Call 911 if you are at home and think someone might be breaking in. Don’t take direct action yourself. Anofficer will be dispatched to your address even if you cannot speak or hang up.Designate a safe room in your home that your family can retreat to and hide from home invasionrobbers. Develop a home security plan for this contingency and make sure all family members knowwhat to do.Arm your security system (except inside motion detectors) even when you are at home. And have panicalarm buttons installed for use in an emergency.Make sure your street address number is clearly visible from the street and is well lighted at night so thepolice and other emergency personnel can locate your home easily. Numbers should be at least 6 incheshigh must be used on individual dwellings and duplexes, and 12 inches high on multiple-unit residentialbuildings.Make sure your unit number in an apartment building or condo is clearly visible from paths in thedevelopment. A directory or map that shows paths and unit locations should be placed at the mainentrance of the development.The measures discussed in the SDPD paper on home security at default/files/homesecurity.pdf should also be taken for personal safety and security inside a home, apartment, orcondo. These include calling the SDPD CRO (Community Relations Officer) in your neighborhood to arrangefor a free home security survey. And ask about starting or joining a Neighborhood Watch program in yourarea.Answering the Door If someone knocks at your door or rings the bell, look at them with your video intercom or peephole.Don’t open the door for anyone you don’t know.If you don’t want to open the door and don’t want the person there to think that no one is home, saysomething like “we can’t come to the door now.” Burglars often knock on doors to see if anyone is athome. If you don’t respond, they may think no one is at home and attempt to break in. If you dorespond, they will usually go away and try another house.Solicitors, including peddlers, or interviewers except those from nonprofit, charitable, religious, or politicalorganizations engaged in distributing information, collecting information or polling individuals in ahousehold are required to register with the SDPD and obtain a photo identification card showing suchregistration. That card must be displayed on the front of their clothing per SDMC Sec. 33.1402. Solicitorsor interviewers for nonprofit organizations and don’t have cards should have an identification card, aletter on organization letterhead stating that the person is a representative of the organization, and acopies of a nonprofit status letter from the State Franchise Tax Board and the IRS. Also note that nosoliciting or interviewing is allowed from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m., local time, except by prior appointmentper SDMC 33.1410.Call the SDPD on one of its non-emergency numbers if a solicitor or interviewer should have anidentification card but doesn’t display one. Those numbers are (619) 531-2000 or (858) 484-3154.Provide the dispatcher with a good description of the person. Note that juveniles under 14 years of agewill not be issued a registration card.Post a NO SOLICITING sign if you don’t want any solicitor to ring your door bell, knock on your door, ormake any other sound to attract your attention. Cite SDMC Sec. 33.1407 on the sign.Be suspicious of persons making unsolicited offers of services. See the SDPD paper on fraud preventionat on.pdf for ways to avoid scams byunscrupulous contractors, home security system salespeople, and others going door-to-door.Don’t let any workers who say they are coming to fix or check on something, e.g., from San Diego Gas &Electric, enter your home until you confirm the problem and their identity with their company or agency.Then ask to see a photo identification.Don’t open the door to a delivery person unless you are expecting something. Otherwise, ask for theperson’s name and call his or her company to verify the delivery. Keep the door closed and locked in themeantime.3

Never let a stranger enter your home to use the telephone, even if he or she says it’s an emergency. Offerto make the call yourself.Before buying anything or making a charitable donation, check out the solicitor’s company or organizationwith the Better Business Bureau (BBB) of San Diego County. Call (858) 496-2131 or visit its website The latter also has general consumer information, tips on avoiding varioustypes of fraud, a listing of BBB-accredited businesses, and a way to file a complaint against a business youhave had a problem with.Beware of magazine sellers, who often say a charity will benefit from your subscription. This is a commonscam. The solicitor will take your money and you will never receive any magazines.Consider getting a dog that will bark when someone is at the door.Call 911 if the person at the door is aggressive in knocking or ringing the doorbell, or is otherwisethreatening.Answering the Phone and Talking to Strangers Never give your name or number to a person making a wrong-number phone call or to anyone you don’tknow.Hang up if you receive a threatening or harassing phone call. Call the SDPD if these calls are repeated.Use one of its non-emergency numbers, (619) 531-2000 or (858) 484-3154.Don’t indicate you are home alone to anyone you don’t know.Install caller ID and an answering machine. Don’t pick up a call from a number you don’t recognize. Usethe answering machine to screen calls. Pick up calls only if they are from people you want to talk to.Be suspicious of all solicitors, especially if the caller says you have won a prize but asks you to sendmoney first, says you have to act right away, fails to identify the sponsor, uses a variation of an official ornationally-recognized name, e.g., Salvation League instead of Salvation Army, offers to have someone pickup a cash payment from your home, says he or she is a law enforcement officer who will help you for afee, requires you to attend a sales meeting, directs you to dial a pay-per-call 900 number, delays thedelivery or a product or prize, etc.List your home and mobile phone numbers on the national Do Not Call (DNC) registry to reduce preapproved credit offers and telemarketing calls. Call (888) 382-1222 or register online It is free. Law-abiding telemarketers check the registry every 31 days so it may takethat long before your numbers are removed from their call lists and you can file a complaint. This shouldstop all but exempt calls from charities, political organizations, survey companies, and companies youhave dealt with recently or signed a contract with that gives it permission to call you. If telemarketersignore the fact that your numbers are on the registry you can file a complaint at the above number orwebsite. For this you’ll need to keep a record of their names and the dates of the calls.If you receive non-exempt recorded solicitations known as robocalls, you can file a complaint with theFederal Communications Commission (FCC) even if your number is not on the DNC registry. This can bedone online at or by calling the FCC Consumer HelpCenter at (888) 225-5322. If your phone system has a feature called “simultaneous ring” it is now possibleto stop non-exempt robocalls by subscribing to a free service at Withsimultaneous ring, the call first goes to a Nomorobo number where it’s analyzed and terminated if it’s notexempt. The call won’t even ring on your phone. If you cannot have these calls stopped there are severalthings you can do minimize their annoyance and keep from becoming a victim of telemarketing fraud.First, don’t answer calls from unfamiliar numbers. If you do answer and you hear a recording, hang upimmediately. And if you don’t hang up, never press any numbers for information or to be put on the DNCregistry. You should also get the phone number and file a complaint with the FCC. For additionalinformation go to ational-Do-Not-Call-List?from home on the FCC website.Never give your bank account, credit card, debit card, or Social Security number, or any personalinformation to an unknown caller. Just say “no” and hang up on anyone who asks for personalinformation. Don’t ever assume a friendly voice belongs to a friend.4

Only give your personal information when you have initiated the call and are sure the other party islegitimate.Ask a charity to send written information about its finances and programs before making anycommitments.Before buying anything or making a charitable donation, check out the solicitor’s company or organizationwith the BBB of San Diego County. Call (858) 496-2131 or visit its website at latter also has general consumer information, tips on avoiding various types of fraud, a listing of BBBaccredited businesses, and a way to file a complaint against a business you have had a problem with.Returning Home Have a person driving you home wait until you are safely inside.Leave outside lights on if you’ll return after dark.Have your key in hand so you can open the door immediately.Don’t enter your home if you suspect someone has broken in, e.g., if a window or screen is broken, a dooris ajar, a strange vehicle is parked in the driveway, or your burglar alarm is going off. Go to a neighbor’shome or use your cell phone to call 911. Wait for officers to arrive and investigate. Enter when they say itis safe to do so.Go to a neighbor’s house and or use your cell phone to call 911 if someone is following you on foot or in avehicle. Don’t go home while the threat exists.Be aware of any people around your home when you return. Go to a neighbor’s house before openingthe garage or another door if you have any concerns about your safety.Keep your headlights on until you are in your garage at night.Close the garage door before getting out of your vehicle.Parking in a Common GarageAlthough attacks in garages are rare, you can do the following to minimize this risk especially late at night. If the garage has a gate, keep your vehicle’s doors locked and windows closed when you approach it. Anddon’t open the gate if someone is nearby who might follow you in on foot. If someone does follow you in,turn around, drive out of the garage, and call building security.Stop inside the gate and let it close behind you to prevent another vehicle or person from entering behindyou before the gate closes.Turn on your high beams when you enter the garage so you can see better down the aisles.If you see anyone who doesn’t belong in the garage, don’t park and get out of your vehicle. Drive out ofthe garage and call building security.Keep your doors and windows locked until you are ready to leave your vehicle.If you have a good friend in the building call him or her before you enter the garage and ask them tocome down to the garage to escort you to your unit.OUT AND ABOUTThe following situations are considered: out walking or running, on a date or at a party, at work, whencompleting an online or other purchase, on elevators, when meeting someone new, when driving, in parkingfacilities and other places, when riding a bus or trolley, and using an ATM. Tips for personal safety andsecurity when you are traveling away from home are contained in a SDPD paper travelsafetyandsecurity.pdf.Out Walking or RunningFollow these basics of safety and self-defense to avoid becoming a target, and if threatened or attacked, whatto do.5

When out walking or runningo Don’t go out under the influence of alcohol or drugs. They will impair your judgment and reactions.o Let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return.o Walk with a friend, family member, or big dog.o Don’t wear a headset. If you wear one you won’t hear someone approaching you and you may get sodistracted by what you’re listening to that you won’t be aware of your surroundings.o Avoid verbal confrontations. They may lead to physical altercations.o Vary your route. Don’t run on deserted streets or trails. And don’t run at dusk or at night. Maintain a confident appearance.o Know where you are going and walk with good posture, confidence, and purpose. Don’t appearsubmissive and look like a possible victim.o Make eye contact with people you pass. Keep your head up. Don’t look at the ground. Avoid potentially dangerous people, places, and situations.o Listen to your intuition. If something doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t.o Leave any places in which you are uncomfortable. Be especially alert for suspicious persons inparking lots and around banks, ATMs, stores, etc.o Be wary of strangers who seem overly friendly, ask a lot of questions, or ask for help.o Never turn your back to a stranger.o Don’t approach vehicles even if the occupants say they need directions or assistance.o Be especially alert when alone in a dark parking lot, structure, or any isolated area.o Don’t venture into unfamiliar places, take shortcuts, talk to or accept rides with strangers, or hitchrides. And don’t walk in or near alleys, on deserted streets, near dark doorways or shrubbery. Assess your situation and take measures to avoid being threatened or attacked.o Keep a safe distance from strangers who stop you for directions or conversation.o Don’t let someone get close enough to grab you. Watch their hands and feet for indications of hostileintent.o Cross the street if you think someone is following you. Call 911 and walk into the nearest openbusiness or other safe place if someone is following you.o Don’t fight for your wallet or purse if that will enable you to avoid a physical confrontation.o Try to talk your way out of the situation. Speak in a strong assertive voice if someone approaches youin a hostile or suspicious manner. Tell them to stop or back away.o Decide what you would do if the person threatening you has a weapon or an accomplice. Act quickly and decisively if you can’t avoid being attacked, in which case your goal should be to breakaway and escape.o Yell as loud as you can for help. This might scare off an attacker or bring assistance from someonenearby.o Try to dodge blows by moving to the side, not backwards, if someone is hitting you.o Don’t struggle or try to pull away if someone grabs you from behind. Use your feet, elbows, fingers,and the base of your hand to disable the attacker and then escape. Aim for the most vulnerable bodyparts, i.e., eyes, nose, throat, chin, knee, and groin. Objects like umbrellas, keys, and shoulder bagsmake effective weapons when used against vulnerable body parts.o Scream and kick if you fall to the ground.o Don’t let anyone back you up against a wall or other object.What to Carry When Out Walking or Running Carry only necessities, i.e., a driver license or other identification card, some cash, a credit card, insurancecards, personal medical information, and names and phone numbers of people to call in emergencies.And carry a working cell phone.6

Don’t carry your Social Security card or anything with your SSN on it. Persons with Medicare cards shouldcarry photocopies of the cards with the last four digits of their SSN removed. Keep the card is a safe placeat home and bring it if needed for a doctor appointment.Don’t carry blank checks or a checkbook. Don’t carry anything with PINs, account numbers, or passwordswritten on it.And don’t carry a gun, knife, club, chemical spray, or other weapon. Some are illegal to carry and all couldbe used against you.Don’t carry personal information of your family members.Make a list of all the cards you carry. Include all account numbers and phone numbers to call to report alost or stolen card. Also make photocopies of both sides of all the cards. Keep the list and copies in asafe place at home. If you carry a library card, make a copy of it too.It’s better to leave anything you don’t need at home.Avoid carrying a purse if possible. Wear a money pouch instead.Carry a purse with a shoulder strap if you must. Keep the strap over your shoulder, the flap next to yourbody, and your hand on the strap. Hang the purse diagonally across your body.When wearing a coat and carrying a purse, conceal the strap and purse under the coat.Keep a tight grip on your purse. Don’t let it hang loose or leave it on a counter in a store.Carry your wallet, keys, and other valuables in an inside or front pants pocket, a fanny pack, or other safeplace. Don’t carry a wallet in a back pocket.Never put your purse or wallet on a counter while shopping.Do the following if your purse or wallet is lost or stolen: File a police report in the jurisdiction where your wallet was lost or stolen. Also file one in the jurisdictionwhere you live. Get a copy of the report. You many need to send copies elsewhere.Report the loss to one of the three Consumer Credit Reporting Bureaus (CCRBs). Their phone numbersare: (800) 525-6285 for Equifax, (888) 397-3742 for Experian, and (800) 680-7289 for TransUnion. Andrequest that an initial fraud alert be placed on your credit files. The CCRB you call is required to notify theother two. A fraud alert will tell creditors to follow certain procedures before they open a new account inyour name or make changes to your existing account. In doing this you will be entitled to free copies ofyour credit report from each CCRB. Order them a few weeks after your loss and review them carefully.Look for inquiries from companies you haven’t contacted, accounts you didn’t open, and debts on youraccounts that you can’t explain. Fraud alerts are good for 90 days and can be renewed. They are free.This alert may prevent someone from opening a new account in your name but it will not prevent misuseof your existing accounts.Alert your banks of the loss and request new account numbers, checks, ATM cards, and PINs. Alsoprovide new passwords and stop payment on any missing checks.Contact all your creditors by phone and in writing to inform them of the loss.Call your credit card companies and request account number changes. Don’t ask to cancel or close youraccounts; that can hurt your credit score, especially if you have outstanding balances. Say you want anew numbers issued so your old numbers will not show up as being “cancelled by consumer” on yourcredit reports.Call the security or fraud departments of each company you have a charge account with to close anyaccounts that have been tampered with or established fraudulently. Follow up the request in writing andask for written verification that the accounts have been closed and any fraudulent debts discharged.Keep copies of all documents and records of all conversations about the loss. If you still want a chargeaccount, request a new number.If your Social Security card or any other card with your SSN on it was in your purse or wallet, contact yourlocal police and the IRS as suggested above. Also contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) at (800)772-1213 to request a replacement card or go to to apply for one online.If your Medicare card or any other card with your Medicare number on it was in your purse or wallet,contact your local police and the IRS as suggested above. Also contact the SSA at (800) 772-1213 torequest a replacement card. Or to obtain one online you need to first create a My7

Social Security account as explained at D 34019&task knowledge&questionID 3708.If your driver license was lost, contact the California DMV Fraud Hotline at (866) 658-5758 to report theloss, request a replacement license, ask that a stolen/lost warning be placed in your file, and check thatanother license has not been issued in your name.If your library card was lost, contact the library immediately. Otherwise you could be held financiallyresponsible for any material borrowed after the loss.If you lose your automobile, homeowners, or health insurance cards, notify the companies and requestreplacements.If your passport was lost or stolen in the United States, report it to the U. S. Department of State by calling(877) 487-2778. Operators are available from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET, weekdays excluding Federal holidays.Or you complete, sign, and submit Form DS-64, Statement Regarding a Lost or Stolen Passport, to the U.S. Department of State, Passport Services, Consular Lost/Stolen Passport Section, 1111 19th St. NW, Ste.500, Washington DC 20036. If it was lost or stolen overseas contact the nearest U. S. Embassy orConsulate.To replace a lost or stolen passport in the United States submit Forms DS-11, Application for a U. S.Passport and DS-64 in person at a Passport Agency or Acceptance Facility. If you are overseas, go to thenearest U. S. Embassy or Consulate if you are overseas to replace it.On a Date or at a PartyOver 80 percent of sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows and trusts. Unlike strangerattacks where the suspect might enter the victim's home through a window or jump out of the bushes in asurprise attack, which can usually be prevented by using the tips in this paper for personal safety and securityinside your home, apartment, or condo, and on the street and other places, many sexual assault victims mayhave made choices that could have reduced their risk if they had been more informed. Here are some waysto keep from becoming a victim. Keep from being drugged. Don't leave drinks unattended or drink from a punch bowl. And don't drinkanything you didn't open or pour yourself. A variety of drugs, sometimes referred to as "date rapedrugs," can be put in drinks and cause intense drunkenness and memory loss. They can also impair youphysically so you can’t walk, talk, or escape.Drink responsibly. Decide ahead of time how much you can safely drink and maintain good judgment.And stick to that limit. Avoid drinking too much and using drugs. Excessive drinking or use of drugs canbe dangerous to your health, impair your judgment, make you vulnerable to people looking to takeadvantage of you, and make it harder for you to stay in control of the situation.Stay with trusted friends. Don't go out alone with someone you don't know well. Go out with a group.There is safety in numbers. Watch out for one another. If a friend looks like she has had too much todrink or is under the influence of drugs, stay with her and make sure gets home safely.Stay in control. Set limits before you get into a sexual situation. Know when you or your date is startingto cross the line and stop it immediately. Be firm and clear that “no” means “no.” Don’t assume your dateknows how you feel.Pay attention to what’s happening around you. Don’t get into a vulnerable situation.Trust your instincts. If a situation feels wrong, dangerous, or unsafe, you are probably right. Get help orgo home as soon as possible.Don’t feel obligated to engage in sexual activities just because your date has spent a lot of time, money, orattention on you.Drive you own car or take public transportation and meet in a public place if you don’t know your datewell. If you do accept a ride, carry enough money so you can cut the date short and call a cab to gethome.Act quickly and decisively if you can’t avoid being attacked, in which case your goal should be to breakaway and escape. Some options to consider are listed in the section on how to avoid becoming a targetand what to do if you are threatened or attacked when out walking or running.8

At WorkThese tips deal primarily with protection against external threats. Workplace violence involving internalthreats, i.e., co-workers is not covered in this section. Information on its extent, the hazards in differentsettings, and prevention plans for individual worksites is available on the website of the U.S. Department ofLabor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) at Keep all doors locked during office/business hours except those designated for public use. Someemployees or security guards should be located to monitor each public entrance. Post signs to indicateareas that are open to the public and those that are for employee access only. Emergency exits should bealarmed and marked for emergency use only.Keep all doors locked if you work after hours. Never open them to any strangers.Keep public restrooms locked or under observation.Lock up your purse and other valuables when you leave your office or workplace.Don’t open the office/business alone, if possible. One employee should remain outside while the otherchecks inside to make sure it is safe to enter. It is also better to have two employees present when theoffice/business is being closed for the day.Don’t make bank deposits alone, if possible. Vary deposit time, route, and method of concealing themoney. Carry the money in a purse or plain bag; never use a bank bag. Make deposits during thebusiness day, not after closing time.Don’t take out trash alone, if possible. Check outside first to make sure that there are no suspiciouspeople near the door or trash bin. Keep the area well lighted and clear of any objects that could providehiding places.Be familiar with the emergency procedures and alarms in your office/business.In any confrontation with a criminal: Be calm and follow instructions exactly. Don’t make any sudden moves.Don’t risk your personal safety. Don’t resist and try to be a hero.Consider all guns as loaded weaponsActivate alarms and alert co-workers only if you can do so without being detected.Observe the criminal’s features, clothing, behavior, means of escape, etc. without being obvious about it.Being a good witnes

Additional tips on cybersecurity, home security, vehicle security, travel safety and security, personal safety and security, child safety and security, preventing crimes against businesses, preventing fraud and identity . copies of a nonprofit status letter from the State Franchise T