“Hello, Grandad, is that you? This is your grandson.”
This is how innocently it started. It was not his grandson but a crafty scammer that was trying to bilk the old man out of $2,500. I first heard about it when the incredibly alert people at Columbia Bank called me and told me that my father-in-law was withdrawing money out of his savings account.
A call to the real grandson proved that the caller was a fraud and the request for money was a scam. The money was supposed to be wired to an account in British Columbia. That was important because it is next to impossible to extradite and prosecute identity theft and property crimes across state lines, absolutely impossible across international boundaries.
Older citizens are an obvious target but they are not the only victims. In fact, ALL of us can become the victim of crime. The good news is that there are procedures, actions and technology that we can do, and get, to prevent or reduce crime from knocking on our doors, breaking through our windows or ringing through our phones and computers.
The Night Out Against Crime is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. It is a nationally oriented, locally supported program, to educate our neighbors on ways to prevent or reduce crime and not become a victim of crime.
The local Night Out, sponsored by Boundary County Sheriff’s Office, will be on Aug. 22, from 5–7 p.m. at the National Guard Armory. There will be static displays, vendors displaying the latest in security technology and oral presentations by security experts on ways and means to reduce crime and keep you and your family safe.
Recent events in Texas, Ohio and Chicago remind us that we live in an increasingly dangerous world. The irony of crime prevention is that the more you prepare to NOT be a potential victim, the less likely you are to become a victim.
Some of it is common sense: “IF it’s too good to be true, it usually is.” Beware the stranger bearing gifts. You won’t be a winner in a contest you never entered. The free cruise will not be free, the millionaire will NOT be sharing, the REAL credit company should already know your personal information, and it really isn’t Microsoft on the other end of the line offering to fix your unbroken computer. Hang up! Lock your doors. Install deadbolt locks and motion detection lighting. Attend the Night Out Against Crime. IT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU!
We’ll see you Thursday, Aug. 22, from 5–7 p.m. at the National Guard Armory. Working together we can make this a safer place for ourselves and our families to live.