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Be a shopper, not a victim

Criminals can be very creative in their modus operandi. Here is an alert from one Senior Times reader about a purse snatcher’s technique:

“I would like to warn people driving to different shopping centers that there is a man with glasses and a toque who might come knocking on your window to either tell you to look for a flat tire or that you left your groceries outside of your car. Do not open your door or window to talk to him. If he gets into your car, he will steal your purse or your car. Beware! It happened to me.” — E.P.

This racket has been around forever, says Officer Peter Mandelos, community officer at Station 11 in NDG. “Sometimes people work in pairs, with one distracting the victim while the other one opens the car door.” Seniors should be vigilant at all times, keep their car doors locked, and if someone knocks on the car window, open it just a crack, not so much that a hand can get through. If you feel intimidated, honk your horn, E.P. advises.

Should you lose or have your wallet stolen, it is not enough to cancel your cards. To prevent possible identity theft, call these credit bureaus: Equifax 1-800-465-7166 and TransUnion 1-877-713-3393.

While most people who try to talk to you do not have criminal intentions, it is prudent to stay aware at all times to avoid becoming a victim.

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