UR­BAN SUR­VIVAL

Home Defender - - First Defense - BY DOUG JEF­FREY

The 20-some­thing-year-old man took a deep breath, tucked in his shirt and ner­vously glanced around. Although he had scammed el­derly peo­ple nu­mer­ous times, he al­ways felt a lit­tle anx­i­ety just be­fore ap­proach­ing them.

He looked up at the sin­gle-story tract home where the el­derly woman lived, checked the neigh­bor­hood for any signs of life, cleared his throat and started to­ward the door.

GIVE ME 20

“Good evening, ma’am. My name is Darron, and I live next door.”

“Hello there, young man. How can I help you?”

The woman, who had lived in the four-bed­room res­i­dence for some 56 years, thought he seemed nice enough. While she had never seen him, she thought maybe he had re­turned home af­ter living some­where else for a while. Or, maybe he meant he was a friend of the fam­ily. Af­ter all, Kenny, whose chil­dren at­tend the lo­cal univer­sity, al­ways had a house full of col­lege kids around.

“No one is home, and I need some money for gas,” he said, sud­denly feel­ing more com­fort­able. Smil­ing, he added, “Is there any chance I can get $20? It’s re­ally im­por­tant.”

“I don’t have any cash,” she said. “But, if you wait, I’ll write you a check.”

“Sure, I can wait. Thank you, ma’am.”

Later that evening, the woman called her younger son. “I think I made a mis­take,” she said.

TAKE 2

In the en­su­ing weeks, the evenings were quiet for the woman, who lived in a sprawl­ing Los An­ge­les sub­urb.

And then, one night, she heard that fa­mil­iar tap­ping. She fum­bled for her cane and made her way slowly to the door. Keep­ing the dead­bolt se­cure, she peered out­side.

“Good evening, ma’am. It’s me again, Darron. I’m just won­der­ing …”

TRUE TO LIFE

This is a true story that hap­pened just a few months ago, and if you ever thought it couldn’t hap­pen to you, think again. For­tu­nately, for this woman, she lost only money on the scam­mer’s first visit. The sec­ond time she said no to his re­quest for $40; but, it could have eas­ily es­ca­lated. What if he had got­ten ag­gres­sive, pushed the door open, knocked her down and forced his way in?

Things hap­pen. Be­lieve it. That’s why, in this issue, we’re bring­ing you a spe­cial re­port geared to­ward the at-risk el­derly—we’ll pro­vide you with solid tech­niques and pro­tec­tion tips against fraud and scams.

Af­ter all, it’s time for the prey to fight back. HD

“...ONE NIGHT, SHE HEARD THAT FA­MIL­IAR TAP­PING. SHE FUM­BLED FOR HER CANE …”

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