There are bazillion scammers using a bazillion ruses to get your money. The lowest of the low are the ones who scam the elderly. These same conmen often do it door to door and can be very dangerous.

Con men posing as city employees seem to be the most effective scam. In one incident 2 men posed as city workers who were trimming trees in a neighborhood. One man would knock on the door and schmooze the resident into allowing him into the home. He would then coax the person into the back area of the home while his partner would sneak in the front door.

Once the second man was in he’d rob the person. Often they’d head straight for the bedroom and grab jewelry boxes and look for wallets and pocketbooks.

In another scam a man would go door to door and offer his labor for gardening and yard work for elderly. He would do the job he was hired to do at an agreed fee. But when the job was over he would request a significant amount of money that wasn’t previously discussed. In this case he would escalate the situation to yelling and threats.

He was so bold he would drive the person to an ATM machine to get the money.

In both of these situations the home owners were lucky the situations didn’t escalate to physical violence. It’s unfortunate that elderly are preyed upon in this way. If you have an elderly parent or neighbor, keep a close eye on them and watch out for them. Unfortunately with some people you can tell them to be careful and not open the door to strangers until you are blue in the face and they may not listen.

If you have an elderly person you care for and they live away from you I’d recommend installing a video security system in their home. Today’s surveillance systems can be remotely monitored from any PC in the world. I’m able to monitor mine from my iPhone. You can set an alarm on individual cameras to alert you to activity.

Consider a home alarm system too. Make it real easy for them to activate and deactivate using a remote control. Have the alarm company call them first, the police second and you third when an alarm goes off.

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing Home Invasions on Montel Williams.

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