Ken Paxton
Senior Texans

Crime Prevention Tips for Seniors

Each year more than twenty-five million Americans become victims of crime. Seniors can protect themselves from crime by following simple, common-sense suggestions. As your attorney general, I encourage you to share these tips with your family, friends and neighbors, and make it tougher for criminals to come into your neighborhoods.

At home...
  • Make sure you keep your doors and windows locked. Install and use well-made deadbolt locks on all exterior doors.
  • Install a peephole in your front door so you can see callers without opening the door.
  • Keep your home well lit at night, inside and out, and keep your curtains closed at night.
  • Trim shrubs and trees that might give criminals a place to hide or a way to climb to a second story.
  • Light up entry doors so you can tell whoís there. Brighten up the property so crooks canít hide.
  • If you are gone for more than a day, make sure your home looks and sounds occupied - use automatic timers to turn on lights and a radio or television.

In your car...
  • Lock your doors, buckle up and keep the widows rolled up.
  • Keep your car in good running condition and keep the gas tank at least half full.
  • Lock packages and other valuable items in the trunk. Do not leave them on the back seat or on the floor of the car.
  • Returning to your car, always look in the front and back seat before getting in.
  • Never pick up hitchhikers.
  • If your car breaks down, pull over as far as possible to the right side of the road, put on your flashers and flares or reflective markers if you have them. Stay with your car and use a cell phone if you have one to call for help. If a stranger offers to help, ask them to call police to assist you.

When you are out...
  • Carry your purse close to your body, do not dangle it from your arm and never leave your purse in a shopping cart.
  • Donít carry excessive amounts of cash with you.
  • Avoid walking along at night. Try to have a friend accompany you in high-risk areas, even during the daytime.
  • Have your government checks and paychecks sent directly to your bank account.
  • If you arrive at your home and suspect that a stranger is inside, DONíT GO IN. Leave as quietly as possible and call 911 to report the incident.

If you have become the victim of a scam, report the crime to your local law enforcement. Remember that the con artists rely on their victimís reluctance to come forward and admit that they have been taken. If you do not report the crime, you are actually helping the criminal get away and repeat the crime.

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