People 65 years of age and older make up more than 30% of Sarasota County's population. Crime and the fear of crime create special problems for residents as they age. Crime prevention is not just a job for law enforcement. Seniors can learn how to protect themselves and unite with neighbors and friends to make it tough for criminals to work in your community.
Financial crimes in particular are often perpetrated against older residents.
The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office wants to remind citizens to never provide personal financial information to anyone, particularly over the phone. If someone claims to be with your financial institution, get their name and then hang up and call your bank or lender directly.
If someone claims to be with a particular law enforcement agency, ask for their name and identification number, and then call that agency – not the phone number the caller provides – to verify their employment. But remember, detectives would never contact someone by phone and ask for financial details or account information.
Another crime seen seasonally in this area is an unsolicited person offering to do repairs or other household chores. In such cases, the Sheriff's Office offers the following advice:
- Do not let strangers into your home.
- Never agree to repairs on the spot. Ask for a written estimate or contract.
- Get as much information as possible, including a name and vehicle tag number.
- Never pay in cash.
- If you think your home is in need of repairs, contact a local reputable company and get at least three written estimates.
The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office also works proactively with community groups to address the needs of seniors. Click here to learn about Seniors vs Crime.