Transient Crimes and Elder Fraud
What You Need to Know
Most crimes committed against older adults are
“transient crimes,”many involving home repairs or
diversions. These occur where a person requests to come
into the home to use the bathroom, ask for a drink of
water, or to “check out” an unreported problem.
Older adults are especially vulnerable to be victims
of transient crimes because:
- They live alone and are eager to socialize.
- They know that they can’t make needed repairs
and fear losing independence, thinking that family
members will believe that they are unable to
maintain their own homes.
- They are eager to please and be helpful.
- They have money at home and in the bank.
- They may have declining eyesight, hearing or
memory which hinder understanding and
identification for prosecution.
- They may be more susceptible to intimidation
- No matter how good it sounds, you really can’t get something
for nothing or get a “deal” that’s too good to pass up.
- Do not allow ANY stranger into your home. No
exceptions. Bathrooms and water are usually just a few
short blocks away – a stranger does not need yours.
- All gas, water, electric and cable workers have ID badges
and would never ask to “check your system” to gain
entry, offer to “correct” a problem or a cash refund.
- Do not sign any contract or use any service offered
by a person that approaches you cold by phone or
especially “door to door.”
- Get all work contracts in writing with firm quotes and
detailed description of the work to be performed, wait
at least three days until the work begins and if you have
any questions at all, talk it over with someone you trust.
The most common transient crimes are driveway sealing
(small amount leftover from another job), roof sealing,
brick or mortar repair, shingle replacement, painting,
landscaping, power washing and exterminating. The
most common forms of fraud are use of bogus or diluted
material, excess empty containers presented to
exaggerate the amount of material used, the finding of
non-existent “damage,” failure to perform work and
extortion for higher payment after the job is completed.
Don’t be afraid to call if you suspect elder fraud. The
police want to help catch those who prey on the elderly.
Source: Cincinnati Police Department