Be Aware – Thieves are about

Article posted September 25, 2011

Despite the many warnings we are continually hearing about Seniors being the victims of crime. You may have heard all of this before but given that criminals are always coming up with new ways to target their victims it never hurts to repeat the message.

Be Aware – Thieves are about.

Seniors are particularly vulnerable to thieves especially to some of the tactics that we hear are currently happening around Halton Region. One of the thief’s most common ploys is to distract their intended victim. They do this in what appears to be a very innocent and plausible manner. If you are ever approached by a stranger extra vigilance is required. No matter what they say or how unfortunate their circumstances appear to be, this may well be their way of distracting you. And once you are distracted they can easily pick your pockets or get their hands into your purse. By the time you realize what has happened, usually when you get home, it’s too late.  They will be long gone with your money and personal information and will have used your debit or credit card. If at all possible completely avoid strangers and if at all possible have nothing whatsoever to do with them. Here are two of the more prevalent scenarios that you should be aware of:

You are in a parking lot and heading back to your car. You are approached by strangers, usually there are more than one of them, who have a large map and need directions. BE AWARE, in all probability these are thieves. One of their more common stories is that they need urgent directions to get a sick child to the hospital. In your desire to be helpful in such circumstances you are completely distracted as you are pointing out directions on their map. Your pockets or your purse are an easy target for an accomplice who will be busily stealing your wallet.

In another example you are at the supermarket checkout. Someone nearby does something that completely distracts you. And while you are distracted you are an easy target for an accomplice. If anything unusual happens around you extra vigilance is again required.

With or without distractions thieves nearby can easily see you enter your PIN if you are using your debit or credit card. Following you out of the store and stealing your wallet as in the case outlined above means they have ready access to your accounts.


These are just two of the activities that we have heard are very prevalent in Halton Region. If you hear of similar stories please let us know at [email protected] so we can spread the word to others.

There will be more so again we repeat the message:

Be Aware – Thieves are about.