Sheriff’s office gives senior safety tips

By Nathan Pilling npilling@civitasmedia.com

June 25, 2014

XENIA — The main hall of the Xenia Hospitality Center for Rehabilitation and Healing echoed with safety tips for seniors on Tuesday morning.

Detective Beth Prall from the criminal investigations section of the Greene County Sheriff’s Office spoke to assembled community seniors about various safety topics, including daytime burglaries, purse safety, lottery and email scams, garage door security, suspicious packages and more.

“A lot of times, the older generations, they want to give everybody the benefit of the doubt,” Prall said. “They want to believe the best in people and sometimes that makes them a better target for criminals. We just want to make them aware that these people are out there. This is all that they do. They don’t care about you. They don’t care about your family. All they want is that money for whatever purpose suits them.”

Prall said in the summer months the sheriff’s office sees seniors affected by a higher rate of fraud through tree trimming or asphalt businesses.

“We just wanted to alert them to that, encourage them to get more than one estimate, to check with the Better Business Bureau,” she said.

“Seniors are an easy prey,” said Diane Hollenbeck, marketing and admissions director for the center. “A lot of them have money, and people are always after that. So many of our seniors are by themselves, and they get isolated. They hunger for company and sometimes that’s what these people prey on, because they know these people love to talk and that’s who they target.”

The session was part of a monthly seminar series hosted by the center. Past topics have included traveling tips, healthcare, safety and having fun.