Senior citizens easy target for criminals

By Staff | Jan 15, 2013

Rockland — Senior citizens are easy targets for criminals, said Knox County Sheriff Donna Dennison.

"Although one does not necessarily have to be elderly to be a victim," she said. "Many of our elderly live on fixed, limited incomes."

Deputy David Johnson on Jan. 2 took a complaint regarding unauthorized checks being written and cashed on an elderly woman's checking account, Dennison said. The victim did not authorize or write the checks.

"People should review their bank and credit card statements," she said. "Any unauthorized payments need to be reported to the bank or credit card company immediately."

She urged that a report to local police also should be done.

"Never give out confidential information over the phone or online unless you know who you are talking to," Dennison said. "Social security numbers, dates of birth, credit card and bank account numbers, including passwords, should never be given out over the phone unless you make the call and know who you are calling.

She cautioned senior citizens against telling strangers if one is living alone.

"Hang up," she said. "Shred all mail or documents with personal information on them.

"We need to look out for our elderly," Dennison said. "They looked out for us."

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