About Crime Stoppers
How To Report / Collect
Special Reward Cases
Links to Important Sites
Crime Prevention Tips
Limit Your Exposure To Identity Theft
Reporting Agencies | Fraud Alert |
Copy of Credit Reports |
Change your Password | Contact Police if you Suspect
Crime Prevention Tips
Being Out Side
Alone In Your Car
At Home | In Trouble |
Face to Face Confrontations | Facts
and Myths | Burglary | Operation
ID | Securing Your Home |
Locks | Doors | Windows |
Outside Your Home | Garage
| Apartments | When You
are Away | Neighborhood Action/Block Watch |
Fraud and Bunco | Personal
Security | Purse Snatching |
It is very important for you to contact
each of the three major credit reporting agencies to put a fraud alert on
your credit reports and to get a copy of your credit reports. Reviewing
your credit reports will help you to determine if there has been any
unusual activity with any of your credit cards or other credit accounts.
The names and phone numbers of each of these reporting agencies are as
* Equifax 1-800-525-6285
* Experian 1-888-397-3742
* Trans Union 1-800-680-7289
We understand that this process may be confusing, so set forth below is
additional information about how to put a fraud alert on your credit
reports and what to do once you get a copy of your credit reports.
A "fraud alert" is a statement that can be
placed on your credit reports that can state "please do not issue credit
without calling me first at this number” (you will provide your home
number and/or your business number). Companies seeing this fraud alert
should not issue credit to an imposter without calling you at your home
Please know that if you place a "fraud alert” on your credit file, you
will not be able to get instant credit because you will not be at your
home or office to receive the phone call for the credit to be issued. If
you place a fraud alert but then want to be able to get instant credit,
you will need to remove it from your credit file.
The credit bureaus will not keep the fraud alert on your credit reports
indefinitely. It's likely that they will give you the option of leaving it
on three months, six months, or if you ask for it in writing, seven years.
You should consider leaving the fraud alert on ~--your credit reports as
long as possible in order to protect yourself. It's our
understanding that having a fraud alert on your credit file will not
reduce your credit score.
Copy of Credit Reports:
The credit reporting agencies may charge a
fee in order to obtain a copy of your credit report. However, it's our
understanding that if you advise them that you are a potential victim of
fraud, that they may provide them to you free of charge.
When you receive your credit reports from the three credit reporting
agencies, you will note that they each use different formats. The most
important things to look for to help protect yourself from fraud are the
1. Is there a different name on your credit report, or is your name
misspelled in anyway?
2. Is your social security number correct? Are there any other social
security numbers or slightly different numbers on your credit report?
3. Are all of the accounts yours?
4. Are all of the accounts that you closed listed as closed? If there
appears to be open accounts or if there are credit balances for accounts
that you believe were closed, you should check with the creditor to
confirm whether there has been an error.
5. Look at the inquiry section of the report. This is the section that
says "these companies received your credit report for the purposes of
issuing you credit." The section lists companies and creditors who
received a full copy of your credit report. Under federal law, they are
only allowed to get your report with your permission. If there are
companies in that section that you do not recognize, you should find out
why and how that company was able to access your credit report.
If you find that there are any errors, mistakes, or inquiries that you do
not recognize, you should immediately write a letter to each of the three
credit reporting agencies. Inform them of the errors and ask for
clarification of the addresses and telephone numbers of the companies that
received your credit report. You should also notify the companies that
accessed your credit report without your permission, and find out whatever
information you can, including getting a copy of any application that may
have been completed. This could be an indication of an imposter attempting
to establish credit in your name.
Change Your Passwords:
It's in your best interest to use passwords
that no one would know. For example, for any accounts that you've used
your "mother's maiden name" as a password, it's advisable to change it to
something else that no one knows.
Contact Police If You Suspect Fraud:
If you detect or suspect any fraudulent use
of your identity, you should file a report with your local police or the
police where the identity theft took place. Request a copy of the report
in case the bank, credit card company, or others need proof of the crime
The Federal Trade Commission also publishes tips on how you can prevent
and deal with identity fraud. You can access the FTC's Internet site at
www.consumer.gov or call them at 1-877-10- THEFT (1-877-438-4338).
IT'S A CRIME
IF YOU'RE NOT PREPARED
Out Side Alone
* At night, try to stay on well-lighted
streets; avoid doorways, shrubbery, dark shadows near buildings, and other
potential hiding places. Carry a flashlight.
* Stay away from deserted laundromats or apartment house laundry rooms,
parking lots or ramps at night; be cautious even in the daytime.
* Be cautious around elevators; if you are at all suspicious of another
passenger, wait for the next car. Stand near the control panel while you
ride. If you are threatened or attacked, hit the alarm and as many floor
buttons as you can.
* While walking or jogging, be aware of your surroundings. Look alert and
confident. Make quick eye contact with people around you. Dress so you can
walk or run easily to avoid attack.
* If you are being followed by a car,
change direction. If followed by a person, turn and look at him. This
gives you time to think and lets the person know that you are alert. In
either case, walk to the nearest public place.
* Have a plan and know what you are going to do if attacked - resist or
appear to cooperate, and look for a chance to escape.
* If possible, walk with a friend, use an escort service provided by many
businesses or take a bus. If there are few people on board, sit near the
driver. Don't fall asleep.
* In a cab or a friend's vehicle, ask the
driver to wait until you signal you are safely inside your house.
* When you take out your wallet, don't reveal your money or credit cards.
* A woman should carry her handbag next to her body, with the flap or
clasp toward her. A man should carry his wallet in an inside or front
* Don't leave or set your purse on the back of the door or on the floor in
restrooms, theaters, restaurants, or other public areas. Don't leave your
purse open or unattended in a shopping cart. Carry your keys in your coat
* Don't be a hitchhiker.
In Your Car
* While walking to your car, have your door
key ready in your hand as you approach. Before getting into your car,
glance into the back seat and floor for someone hiding there. Get into
your vehicle and lock the door behind you before settling yourself and
* Look for a well-lighted parking place and
lock your car - even if you're just running into the store for a minute.
Never leave your purse in your car and place your briefcase out of sight
or in the trunk.
* If you must leave your key with a parking attendant or service garage,
leave only your car key, never the keys to your house. These can be
duplicated while you're gone.
* Keep your doors locked and windows rolled up most of the way, especially
while in heavy traffic. Keep your purse out of sight.
* If someone tries to break into your car, honk your horn repeatedly and
try to drive away if you can.
* If you are being followed, don't drive directly home. Drive to the
nearest 24-hour police or fire station, hospital emergency entrance,
all-night restaurant, gas station or other place where there are people.
* You should not travel, especially at
night, when you know you have car trouble or are low on gas.
* If your vehicle does fail, turn on your emergency flashers, raise the
hood and hang a handkerchief from your window to attract attention or use
a "call police" sign in the windshield. If someone stops, stay in your
vehicle and ask them to call for police assistance.
* Don't leave mail or packages with labels listing your name and home
address in view, inside of your car. Don't leave your work 10 attached to
your purse strap.
* Anyone living alone should use only their
first initial and last name in the phone book and on the mailbox. Don't be
tempted to list information about your children or your employment in any
* When changing addresses, change your locks, too. Install a deadbolt lock
and a high security strike plate as well as a peephole.
* Don't leave keys hidden outside. They're too easily found.
* If you suspect your home has been broken into, immediately call 9-1-1
from a neighbor's home. Don't go inside and risk confronting the burglar
or destroying evidence.
* Never allow a stranger access to your home to use the phone - even if
they claim it's an emergency. Speak to them through your locked door and
offer to make the call for them.
* Always check the I. D. of any trades people, sales representatives,
police officers or other professionals who wish to come inside your home.
* Report unusual, suspicious or obscene phone calls to the police and the
* Instruct children and babysitters not to give out any information about
who is home, who is out or for how long.
* Always lock your doors, draw your shades at night and leave a few
interior and exterior lights on. Timers are also a good idea.
* Windows on the first floor of a house left open while you sleep, or on
any floor of an apartment with balconies, should be secured in place to
allow only a six inch opening.
* Invite a friend or neighbor to visit or visit on the telephone when a
repair person is in your home.
* Being selective about new acquaintances
can help to prevent you from being the victim of a forcible sexual
encounter sometimes referred to as a "date rape".
* If a robber demands your valuables, give them up! Your money or jewelry
is not worth risking injury or your life.
* Carrying a gun or any weapon is not a good idea. It can easily be used
* If you are confronted by an attacker, especially one with a weapon, stay
calm. Evaluate the situation and look for a chance to escape. Think about
* If you are going to fight back, don't hesitate to mark your assailant
with bites, scratches or kicks. The marks can be helpful in locating and
convicting the offender.
* While you are waiting for an avenue of escape, look at your attacker -
one feature at a time, and make a mental note of hair, eyes, eyebrows,
nose, moustache, mouth, voice, breath, age, scars, etc.
* Be vocal, if you can - shouting or screaming may catch him off guard and
is likely to scare him off if there's a chance someone is nearby to hear
* Don't depend on talking your way out, but appearing to cooperate with
your attacker may give you the time you need to devise a means of escape.
* As soon as you can, call the police and write down everything you can
remember about your assailant.
* Don't change your clothing, bathe or apply any medication. Although this
would be your natural reaction, don't do it. You could be destroying
physical evidence that will be important in the apprehension and
prosecution of your attacker.
FACE TO FACE
* When faced with danger, trust yourself
and your instincts. Your single most effective weapon is your own
judgement. Rely on it to choose what you think is the best response at the
time, whether it is to:
RUN . SCREAM TO ATTRACT
NOT RESIST . DISTRACT OR DIVERT
NEGOTIATE THE ASSAILANT
PHYSICALLY RESIST - . VERBALLY ASSERT
FIGHT OFF THE ATTACKER YOURSELF
Material courtesy of:
Minnesota Department of Public Safety
Minnesota Crime Watch
“Be on the safe side”
FACTS AND MYTHS
Opinion polls show that fear of crime is one of the greatest causes of
worry for older people. Concern can be healthy when it leads to reducing
the chances of being victimized. On the other hand, living in constant
fear takes the enjoyment out of life. Attention to crime by newspapers and
television may lead to the impression that crime is everywhere and that
senior citizens are prime victims.
Here are some facts about crime:
* Generally, older
persons are not victimized by crime to a greater extent than the rest of
the population, except in crimes such as purse snatching.
* Crimes of
violence, although feared the most, happen the least.
* Most murders and
assaults are committed by relatives or acquaintances as the result of a
dispute. Very few are committed by strangers.
* Despite widespread
fear, the crime of rape rarely happens to women over 65. In fact, only
about one percent of all known rape victims are women over 50.
* The most frequent
crimes are property crimes, such as burglary and theft from yards, and are
most likely to happen when residents are away.
As an older person, you need not be paralyzed by fear of crime, especially
if you take a few simple steps to reduce your chances of becoming a
victim. You can
even make your neighborhood a safer place to live.
Burglary is the crime most likely to affect people of any age. Burglars
look for easy targets because most are amateurs, not accomplished
The amateur looks for opportunities to get valuables in the easiest
possible way without being seen or heard. The easier you make it for the
burglar, the more likely you are of being burglarized.
Discourage the thief by removing opportunity ...by being prepared. By
making it harder for the thief-by increasing the time it takes to forcibly
enter a house and by increasing the chances of being seen or heard-crime
can be discouraged.
Here are a few steps you can take to reduce the chances of your home or
apartment being burglarized.
Property marking is one of the oldest and best methods of crime
prevention. Today, the most effective method of property marking is known
as Operation Identification.
There are three good reasons why you should join Operation Identification.
1. In the first place the Operation
Identification sticker on your
2. If your things are stolen (or even lost and
later recovered) your
permanent I.D. number
provides instant identification of the rightful
owner. This is true even
if the property is recovered in another county
or state, thanks to the
law enforcement computer network.
3. Your permanent I.D. number will positively
identify stolen property as
yours when found in the
possession of a thief. This is helpful in
prosecuting those who
have stolen property in their possession.
This is how Operation Identification works:
* Obtain an electric
engraving tool at no charge from the crime prevention officer of your
local police department or buy one for $5-$10 at a hardware or department
store. Invisible ink markers are available from some agencies and stores.
They can be used to mark items not easily engraved, such as fur coats,
paintings, crystal, antiques, etc. It is also a good idea to take a photo
of any such items.
* Mark those items
which are most commonly stolen-televisions, stereos, cameras-with your
Permanent Identification Number (PIN). This number is assigned to you by
your local police or sheriff's department when you enroll in Operation
* Keep your
valuables listed on a log. In the
event of a theft this will help you determine what is missing so you can
describe your loss to police and insurance adjusters.
* Finally, advertise
your efforts. Place a large Crime Watch sticker in a prominent place on or
near exterior doors of your residence so everyone knows you've joined
Operation Identification. You might also place smaller Crime Watch
stickers on larger items, such as your television. These stickers are
available from your local law enforcement agencies.
For further information on the Operation Identification program in your
community call your police department.
Securing Your Home
A second fundamental of burglary prevention is having good security
features on your windows and doors. This section of the booklet highlights
some security features you should consider. The crime prevention unit of
your local police or sheriff's department can provide you with more
details and, in many areas, will send someone to do a "premise survey"
which will pinpoint the security strengths and weaknesses of your home.
The service is free and the changes recommended can usually be made at
Amazingly, 30 to 50 percent of home and apartment burglaries happen
because someone didn't lock a door or window. In the case of windows,
often they were even left open. The practical advice which follows doesn't
do any good if you don't learn to close and lock doors and windows as a
matter of habit, even if you're going to be gone only for a few minutes.
Remember: a lock is not a lock unless you lock it. Many homes and
apartments, particularly modern ones, have locks burglars can open with
relative ease. Make sure all exterior doors are equipped with good locks.
Though there are many types of locks, most law enforcement experts suggest
that residential doors should be equipped with one-inch deadbolt locks.
This lock can be purchased from a local locksmith or hardware store where
any questions regarding its installation can also be answered.
An inside chain guard is no substitute for a proper lock. If you have
difficulty identifying visitors without opening the door, a wide-angle
peephole can be installed in the door. It is far better than a chain
Doors and Casings
The best exterior door for a home or apartment is solid wood. Hollow-core
doors are too fragile and should never be used for the exterior of a home
or apartment. Your local crime prevention staff can evaluate your doors
and make recommendations.
There are ways of strengthening less-than-adequate doors at modest
expense. For example, if a door has a large piece of glass in it, you can
install a metal grill, or substitute unbreakable plastic. A chain is only
as good as its weakest link, so consider strengthening the casings around
your exterior doors and the hinges that attach the door to the casing.
Otherwise, a swift shove could open your door by breaking the hinges or
the casing. Remember that a side or back door, being less visible, may be
subjected to a stronger attack than
your front door. Good security is important for all exterior doors on
every home and apartment.
Sliding glass doors in homes and apartments are a particular security
problem because they can be forced open easily. To prevent forced sliding,
have special locks installed; or place a broomstick or piece of wood in
the track and simply slip it out when you want to open the door from the
inside; or mount a Charley bar which folds down from the side for the same
purpose. It's not difficult to pry these doors from their tracks. To
prevent that, insert a couple of sheet metal screws through the upper
track in to the frame with their heads protruding far enough so that the
door just clears.
Most windows come equipped with locks. Remember to lock windows,
especially when leaving, even if only for a short time. Because many
window locks do not provide ideal security, it's a good idea to supplement
them. Special locks are available to provide extra security for various
types of windows. In addition, here are some inexpensive techniques:
* For windows that
slide sideways, use the same broomstick method described for sliding
* Install a wood
block in the track of the window frame to prevent the window from being
opened more than the few inches required for ventilation.
* For traditional,
double-hung windows, drill a small hole at a slight downward angle through
the first sash and into but not through the second (back) sash. Then slip
a large nail into the hole.
Outside Your Home
Good visibility will discourage any potential burglar. Standard exterior
lighting is important, and in some cases additional lighting may be
required to ensure security, particularly at back or side doors. Even
landscaping may require some attention. Heavy landscaping can provide a
welcome screen for
an intruder. If entrances and the windows are hidden from view, additional
pruning or transplanting may be necessary.
Don't leave "hidden" house keys nearby. Most hiding spots are well-known
Make sure the mail box is large enough to totally conceal mail, or better
yet, install a slot in the door. Uncollected mail suggests no one is home.
Ladders should be kept inside to prevent use in reaching high windows.
In an attached garage, make sure the connecting entrance is secured as
tightly as the front door. A door from the garage into the house is often
point of entry for a burglar. A solid door with a one inch deadbolt lock
should be used.
Persons living in apartments or retirement facilities may not be able to
implement some of these suggestions themselves. However, talk to the
manager about a specific plan to upgrade security in your building. It
probably will be more effective to approach the manager with other tenants
together with a representative from the police department. Official
security standards have been adopted in some areas and should be of
When You’re Away
During extended vacations, overnight trips or short walks, make sure your
home looks lived-in.
* Try to keep your
garage door closed at all times so no one can see when your car is away or
what items you have in the garage.
* Either purchase an
automatic timer or recruit a trusted neighbor to turn lights on at dusk
and off at your usual bedtime. Vary the lights to be turned on and
occasionally have the radio turned on.
* Ask a neighbor to
close your drapes at night and pick up your newspaper and mail. Never tell
your newsboy that you will be gone. Cancel your paper rather than entering
a "vacation stop".
* For longer
absences, ask your local law enforcement agency to keep an eye on your
place. This is another free police service.
* If you are
associated with a group tour, see that your travel plans are not announced
by the news media.
Neighborhood Action/Block Watch
A third fundamental of
burglary prevention is neighborhood action. The crime prevention steps you
and your neighbors take as a group are just as important as the things you
do individually. In fact, widespread participation will make your
individual efforts even more effective in deterring burglary, theft,
vandalism and robbery. These programs, often called Block Watch or
Neighborhood Watch, can work equally well in an apartment building or
complex as in an area of single-family homes.
To begin a neighborhood action program, contact a crime prevention
specialist with the law enforcement agency serving your community. Set a
time when he/she can meet with a group of your neighbors to discuss the
particular crime problems in your area and to develop a plan of action.
The plan should include an effort to get everyone to mark his/her property
and to inform everyone of good home security practices. In addition, it
should include watching out for suspicious or unusual activities in
general and, specifically, keeping an eye on each other's homes during
those times when no one is at home.
A concerned and watchful neighborhood is important in preventing crime
because most burglars are amateurs and they will be discouraged if they
think they might be observed. Information you or your
neighbors give the police about suspicious activities often will result in
quicker and more successful efforts to solve crimes which might occur.
The law enforcement agency serving your community can provide information
on the activity you
should report and may be able to assist you with block organizing.
Fraud and Bunco
Fraud and bunco cost individuals thousands of dollars. Often the "victim"
is not certain a crime has been committed, or is too embarrassed to take
action. The con men/women who practice fraud and bunco often seek out
older persons as victims although anyone can be a victim, no matter how
intelligent, educated or knowledgeable.
Con artists and swindlers do not look like criminals. They are generally
well-dressed, talkative and intelligent. Rather than dealing in force,
they try to win your confidence with their expertise in applied
psychology. They will often play on your natural inclination to be helpful
or to get something for nothing.
Two of the most obvious, yet frequent, bunco schemes are:
The Bank Examiner
This con game plays on the victim's good faith. Generally, a phony bank
examiner will call and ask your assistance in a "secret plan" to catch a
dishonest bank employee. He will ask that you withdraw a certain amount of
cash from your account to be turned over to him so that the serial numbers
can be checked. After turning your money over to the "examiner" you never
see it again. Banks never use this procedure, only conmen do.
The Pigeon Drop
arrange for you to "share" a large sum of money which is "found". They
ask that you temporarily withdraw a large sum of "good faith" money from
the bank. They then take your good faith money and make phony arrangements
for you to collect your share of the found money.
Citizens of all ages have problems with misleading and deceptive business
practices. Many older persons, however, have common problems which make
them particularly attractive to promoters of fraudulent schemes.
* Investment Schemes - Older people
are frequent targets for a range of investment possibilities involving
retirement living or retirement incomes. There is no magic way to get rich
so you should enter any investment program only after carefully checking
all relevant factors. Talk to people at your bank, other business advisors
and the Better Business Bureau. The main thing to remember is: don't act
impulsively. If you take time to carefully plan your Investments, chances
are that you won't fall into swindles or other problem deals.
Repairs Schemes - Beware of door-to-door
sales of home improvements at special prices. Take time to check out the
reputation of the people with whom you are dealing. In most cases, it is
advisable to get estimates from several companies before making a
decision. Be particularly cautious of sales people who try to pressure you
to decide immediately.
* Medical Quackery - Seventy percent
of all medical quackery victims are older persons. Avoid health products
or services that claim quick cures, guaranteed cures or secret formulas.
Be particularly cautious if the cure is for an otherwise untreatable
disease or condition. Some of these schemes will not only make you poorer
but can be harmful. Simply being aware of the possibility of swindle is a
step toward eliminating it. Here is a list of some consumer hints:
1. Cash - Be cautious whenever asked to turn over
sizable amounts of cash. Ask if a
check is sufficient.
2. Secret Plans - Stay away from secret deals. Why are
you being asked not to tell
3. Contracts - Never sign a contract without reading
and understanding all of the terms.
4. Sales - Beware of the pressure sale and salespersons
without identification. Consult others when doubtful. Insist on time to think it over.
5. Get Rich Quick - Any scheme that promises rich rewards should be
If you're suspicious or feel you may need help, promptly contact your
local police or call the Consumer Protection Division, Attorney General's
Office, 102 State Capitol, St. Paul, Minnesota 55155 (Telephone:
Though it's unlikely you'll be personally victimized, remember that your
own personal security
depends on your ability to develop and maintain good safety patterns. If
you live in an area where crime is a serious problem, try following some
of these suggestions to reduce crime opportunities.
* At Home - For maximum protection against strangers, install a wide-angle
peephole in your door. If you're unable to identify your visitor, ask to
see identification. If you are at all suspicious, use the telephone to
verify the I.D. before opening the door. It's better if someone who wants
to use your phone remains outside your locked door while you offer to make
If you return home and suspect someone is inside don't go in. Go to a
neighbor's place and
call the police.
It's unlikely you will ever be confronted by an intruder in your home, but
does happen, remain calm and quiet. If in bed, stay quiet until you can
call the police.
Try to observe both the intruder and the type and color of the getaway
vehicle. If you can,
note the escape direction and the license number.
Avoid physical violence at all costs.
* Walking - Try to plan your trips during morning hours and, if possible,
go with at least one other person. Stay on busy, well-lighted streets and
walk close to the street instead of next to buildings. Avoid night trips
whenever possible. Rather than carrying weapons which can be turned
against you, carry a whistle in a handy spot. If you are being bothered at
all or feel you may be attacked, blow the whistle in repeated bursts and
sit down on the ground (to reduce the chance of getting knocked down),
unless you can get to a safer place nearby.
* The Telephone - Unidentified callers have no right to invade your
privacy. Your best defense is a police-type whistle kept near your phone.
In the event of a persistent or obscene call, blow it as loudly as you can
into the voice portion of the receiver. Single women should use initials
instead of first names in the telephone book listings.
* Your Money - If you get social security or certain other retirement
payments, have them deposited directly into your bank account. This
eliminates the chance they'll be taken from your mailbox, or that you'll
be observed taking a month's livelihood to or from the bank.
* When Traveling - Whether you drive or use public transportation, travel
with at least one other person.
Use a bus schedule to minimize the length of time you have to wait
---perhaps alone --- at the bus stop.
Keep your car locked at all times when it's parked and when you're driving
it. Keep the windows rolled up high enough so that an intruder can't reach
inside. Do this as a matter of
If harassed by someone on foot, honk your horn in short blasts and drive
off. If followed by another car, honk your horn in the same way and pull
into a police or fire station, drive-in
restaurant, gas station or some other well lighted place where others can
help you. Never
go home while still being followed. If you do, you will be indicating your
address to the person following you.
When returning to your par ked car, have your key ready to unlock the door
without a lengthy
pause. However, look inside the car first to make sure someone isn't
If you have car trouble, raise your hood and turn on your emergency
flasher, but wait inside
with the doors locked. If people stop to help, don't get out. Rather, ask
them to call the police. If they really want to help, they'll make the
If you see a car in trouble, don't stop to help. Go to the next available
phone and notify the police.
As a habit, keep valuables out of sight. Lock bags and packages in the car
Don't pick up hitchhikers.
Older women are particularly vulnerable to this special category of
personal crime. It is a crime which usually occurs during the daytime.
The best way to avoid purse snatching is not to carry a purse. This is not
really as impractical as it
may seem since one of the biggest reasons for carrying a purse is force of
habit. It might be well worth modifying the habit in order to reduce the
opportunity for crime.
Try keeping a small amount of cash and/or a credit card in either a wallet
or a compact cosmetic
case to be carried in a concealed coat pocket. Women can have small hidden
pockets sewn on the inside of their coats for the same purpose.
If you must carry a purse, carry house keys separately. That way, if your
purse is lost or stolen, the
keys won't be there along with your address. Try carrying the keys on a
chain around your neck or on a rubber band around your wrist.
Carry your purse close to your body, preferably in front. Avoid wrapping
the strap around your wrist;
you're likely to get hurt if a robber yanks hard.
Never carry large amounts of cash. Use checks to pay for all bills,
groceries and other purchases. Many banks provide checking accounts with
no monthly service charge to persons over 65 (you pay only for the
printing of the checks).
If you need to withdraw savings for a special purchase, get the amount as
a check from the bank, not in cash.
Material courtesy of:
Minnesota Department of Public Safety
Minnesota Crime Watch