The Franklin Police Department recognizes the growing population of senior citizens in our community and the particular demands placed on them as they manage their daily lives. Seniors have worked hard their whole lives to provide for their families, and deserve to live peacefully and safely in their golden years. We often find that they become vulnerable to predators and scammers who try to take advantage of their situation. Home improvement cons, fraud, and identity theft, and even physical abuse are just a few of the offenses perpetrated against the elderly.
The Franklin Police Department is committed to developing positive, helpful relationships with our senior citizens and empowering them to avoid becoming victims of crime. PO Jon Czerwinski has been assigned to serve as liaison to all senior citizens living in our community. He is available to meet and speak to individuals or groups about issues that concern them.
Criminals can target the elderly in a number of ways—by telephone as well as in person. Con artists may pretend to want to help you obtain winnings from fictional sweepstakes, pretend to work at your bank, or represent themselves as employees of the Social Security Administration or Medicare. They may even pretend to be a police officer. REMEMBER: DO NOT TRUST ANYONE YOU DO NOT KNOW!!!
Here are some of the most common ways senior citizens are victimized and some crime prevention tips to help you avoid becoming a victim:
- Identity theft occurs when someone obtains and misuses your personal identifying information to open charge accounts, or purchase cell phone, cable TV, or utility (gas, electric) service. Never give your personal information to anyone you do not know or trust. If your personal identifying information is stolen, report it immediately to the police.
- Telephone and mail solicitations for money have become popular scams—the caller tries to get the victim to send in their own money up front in order to obtain phony sweepstakes or lottery winnings; the telemarketer solicits for fake charities; or collectors call to obtain payment for phony unpaid bills. Do not give away your hard-earned money to people you do not know.
- E-mail scams for money, especially those from outside the country are a constant nuisance. Do not open them. Do not respond to them. Delete them immediately from your e-mail inbox.
- Home improvement and auto repair fraud occurs when the con artist talks you into unneeded service or repair, and over charging. Get repair estimates in writing before you authorize any work. Review them first with someone you know and trust before agreeing to the work. Contact the Better Business Bureau before any work is done.
- Frequently purses and wallets are stolen from shopping carts. Stay alert and be aware of what is going on around you. Report any suspicious persons to store employees. Keep your purse with you at all times, close to your body not dangling loosely. Put your wallet in your front pants pocket or in an inside coat pocket. Do not carry large amounts of cash. Pay with checks or credit cards whenever possible.
- Burglary occurs when someone enters your house without your knowledge or consent and steals your personal property. Always lock your doors. Leave lights on and a radio or television playing when you are gone. Contact a trusted relative or neighbor and the police department when you are going on vacation and when you return. Contact one of our crime prevention officers for a free home security survey if you have concerns about making your residence more secure.
- Door to door sales representatives, including non-profit organizations are required to register with the City of Franklin. For-profit sales representatives must have a permit. Always make sure solicitors are legitimate. If you have doubts, call the Police Department at 414-425-2522 or City Hall at 414-425-7500 before you do business with them.
If you have questions or concerns, please contact your Senior Citizen Liaison Officer Jon Czerwinski, 8 a.m.to 4 p.m., at 414-858-2622, or via e-mail.
If you have an emergency and need immediate assistance dial 911. If you want to report anything suspicious please call the Franklin Police Department at 414-425-2522.
Franklin Police Dept.
9455 W. Loomis Road
Franklin, WI 53132
Senior Citizen Officer Liaison:
911 For Emergencies Only