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Help elderly from falling for scams

I am going to ponder the world of scams this week. Although they can happen to anyone, con artists are particularly fond of elderly widows. The scam is to find those who may be lonely or infirm, and slowly shower them with attention and small gifts in order to gain their confidence.

Elderly people are targets for criminals for a variety of reasons and, as their family members and friends, it’s our job to help protect them from potential scams. If you have elderly friends or relatives, you need to stay involved in their lives. Be nosy. Visit them. To someone who is alone a lot, just your presence brings them joy. It may seem dull at times, but never forget, someday you will be in their shoes.

Any time of the year is a great time to check in on what’s going on in a parent or other older family member or friend’s life, including their finances. Do you have siblings? Some families find it’s a good plan to divide up responsibilities when you have elderly parents; one kid takes them shopping, another entertains them, and a third handles money issues.

Regardless of how it’s handled, be aware and be present in the financial lives of your elders. That can mean being a second signature on a checkbook or an authorized person on a checking account. Know about the investments they have. Remember, be nosy. As you monitor your parent or other older person’s financial life, it’s important to be aware of some common scams and to talk to your loved ones about how they can avoid being scammed.

March 14. Destruction of property: The caller states that as he was working nearby he saw something thrown from a passing vehicle and found his windshield shattered at 1:05 p.m. in the area of Bristlecone Drive and Adams Boulevard.

Parking: The wrong-way parking job gets a little extra attention at 3:12 p.m. in the 700 block of Fairway Drive.

Thought for the day: Pranks that cause hundreds of dollars of damage are not funny.

March 15. Family disturbance: The man and woman have a disagreement and one is now afoot and waiting on the bus at 7:20 a.m. in the 1000 block of Nevada Way.

Fraud: The caller states the subjects purchased an item listed for sale, paid with a check written for more than the sales amount and a request to wire the balance back to them at 10:01 a.m. in the 1000 block of Arizona Street.

Thought for the day: You guessed it; the check didn’t clear and now the caller is out the money and the item listed.

March 16. Private property impound: The caller is mystified at the unknown vehicle left parked inside the garage with the keys inside at 11:37 a.m. in the 600 block of Bay View Drive.

Civil: The caller has located a vehicle taken by a family member, along with the title, several weeks ago and is now only out a stolen title at 6:41 p.m. in the 1000 block of El Camino Way.

Thought for the day: How intoxicated do you have to be to park your vehicle in the wrong garage?

March 17. Suspicious vehicles: One subject is warned on camping issues at 2:18 a.m. in the 1600 block of Foothill Drive.

Trespass: The call goes quickly from a disturbance to a trespass warning at 4:15 p.m. in the 1000 block of Nevada Way.

Thought for the day: Complaints are best handled with appropriate behavior if future visits to the establishment are desired.

March 18. Suspicious: The caller states he was sleeping and a subject he did not know woke him up and drove him to the bus stop at 9:32 a.m. in the area of Nevada Way and Birch Street.

Trespass: The subject has taken much too long and gone way too many times in the restroom and will now be taking ablutions somewhere else at 7:26 p.m. in the 1200 block of Boulder City Parkway.

Thought for the day: The homeowner states a family member felt sorry for the residentially challenged individual but the subject would not leave, made threats and had to go.

March 19. Suspicious: The caller found a man passed out behind the establishment and who appears to have been in an altercation at 12:58 p.m. in the 500 block of Avenue B.

Domestic: One half of the disagreement is on the scene and the other half seems to be outstanding at 1:44 a.m. in the 1900 block of Buchanan Boulevard.

Thought for the day: Investigation determines these calls are related and the victor of one may very well be the victim of the other.

March 20. Suspicious: A subject is standing nearby drinking from a paper bag and harassing the caller’s dog at 12:25 p.m. in the 500 block of New Mexico Street.

Disturbance: The complaint is abuse by not allowing a purchase and trying to cause the caller to have a stroke at 3:53 p.m. in the 800 block of Buchanan Boulevard.

Thought for the day: This has really been the day for unusual situations.

Call of the week: Homicide: Not normally a situation to draw extra attention to, however, this was an especially sad situation. BCPD offers civil standby services for short periods of time to pick up personal belongings or drop off items that may be part of any worrisome situation at 5:19 p.m. March 1 in the 700 block of Capri Drive.

Tina Ransom is a dispatcher with Boulder City Police Department. She is coordinator of the Boulder City Citizen’s Academy.

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