Local seniors received important information on how to stay safe in their homes and in the community as part of a Senior Protection Seminar hosted by Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan.
Prior to her appointment as District Attorney, Ryan served for 18 years as the chief of Middlesex District Attorney’s Office’s Elder and Disabled Unit, which prosecutes those who commit crimes against seniors and disabled persons. District Attorney Ryan launched the Senior Protection Seminars as an important prevention effort to teach seniors how to stay safe and avoid being the victim of a crime. The program includes information on safe banking practices, how to avoid scams or theft, and how to access local services.
The seminar was held in Natick on June 4, at the Natick Senior Center in partnership with the Natick Police Department, Springwell Protective Services and Eastern Bank.
“Criminals will find opportunities to prey upon susceptible victims. We want to provide the tools for our elders to be prepared for those who attempt to take advantage of them,” said District Attorney Ryan. “With partnerships like the one we have formed here in Natick, we can educate our seniors and help prevent some of these crimes from occurring. And while we can’t prevent every crime, the message we want to share with our seniors is simple – ask for help and go to authorities if you are the victim of a crime.”
Joining District Attorney Ryan at the event were Natick Police Chief James Hicks; April Evans of Springwell Protective Services; and Tom Kelleher of Eastern Bank.
“It is our goal to ensure that our most vulnerable populations are protected,” said Police Chief James Hicks. “To achieve that goal we believe that partnering with the many disciplines that offer services should be involved. The Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, Natick Police Department, Elder Services, the Council on Aging and our banking community can offer a variety of services to educate and watch over our seniors.”
Among the tips provided to seniors included how to handle unsolicited calls for donations, information or services; information on health care proxies and power of attorney documents; smart financial planning to avoid theft; and how to protect personal information from identity theft.
Other scams to be aware of include: any solicitation requiring cash be wired internationally, advanced payment of a tax or fee in order to receive a larger amount in return; or donations requested over the phone to vague or unknown charities.
For more information contact the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office’s Elder and Disabled Unit at 781-897-8300or visit middlesexda.com.