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Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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Elderly people learn new safety skills

Jennifer+Schmid+explaining+how+scammers+get+public+information
Benjamin Garcia
Jennifer Schmid explains the names of homeowners are public information and scammers can easily find this information and pose as a legitimate call on Nov. 9.

The senior safety seminar was held at the Weingart Senior Center in Lakewood on Nov. 9 that included information on personal safety and both online and in-person scams.

An important strategy for ensuring personal safety for any individual is remembering to close and lock all windows and doors at 9 p.m.

This includes both home and car protection as well as securing garages and a way to take away crimes of opportunity from criminals.

Another form of disincentivizing crimes of opportunity is by bringing in Amazon packages from the doorstep.

Jennifer Schmid, the public safety program coordinator for the Public Safety Department, gave out a message.

Carol Brown receives raffle ticket
Jennifer Schmid passed out raffle tickets for people to win large fire extinguishers to all the attendees present at the Senior Safety Seminar. An important step in fire safety is taking your fire extinguisher out of its box. Photo credit: (Benjamin Garcia)

She said that being aware of one’s surroundings is the most important way to avoid physical hurt.

“Scams are obviously one of the biggest problems for the senior community,” Schmid said, “Because older people are a little bit easier to persuade” and the older people get, the more things can be confusing.

“We try to emphasize not talking to people you don’t know; even if it’s a company that seems legitimate, it’s so easy to lie,” Schmid explained.

Schmid added that it is good to call the company directly to be sure one is talking to an honest person.

Another point Schmid emphasized was to not click on any links from unknown senders; strangers can buy access to public information to target older people.

According to Schmid, one of the newest scams is an ad that is posing as Amazon that shows the words, “Click here!”

Lakewood community member, Laurie Vandy-Brake, who donated fire extinguishers for elderly people or anyone who doesn’t have one, attended the event.

Vandy-Brake told the attendees that it is important to unbox the extinguishers to have them ready for emergencies.

She emphasized that there is a recall on Kidde fire extinguishers which allows people to be given replacement units.

Laurie Vandy-Brake showing fire extinguishers
Laurie Vandy-Brake, Lakewood resident, who donated fire extinguishers to be distributed at the Senior Safety Seminar. The particular fire extinguisher goes above stoves to prevent kitchen fires. (Benjamin Garcia)

Carol Brown, a community member who regularly attends Sherrif deputy meetings, said that she was glad she learned how the fire extinguishers work.

She lamented about the dangers elderly people face, such as various highly trafficked crosswalks where cars don’t stop especially at the intersection of Hardwick St. and Downey Ave.

Brown added that she asked a police officer, who was waiting near the stop sign, about how many run-throughs he saw. He replied that there were about seven per hour.

Another problem Brown disclosed to Talon Marks is the fact that a person calls her phone, who poses as Amazon, asks for an amount of money between $400 and $700; even though she does not have an Amazon account.

“Old people are sitting ducks,” was Brown’s final thought on the presentation.

“Things are always changing out there and I think it’s good to be aware,” said Lakewood resident, Sandy Andrew.

Schmid said that it doesn’t matter where a person lives, this information is important to all, “Personal safety is number one.”

“You just need to constantly learn what’s out there and what to avoid,” Schmid concluded.

To learn about public safety, Lakewood has a section on its website with all types of information to keep you and the things you care about safe.

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About the Contributor
Benjamin Garcia, Fall 2017 Online Editor
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Elderly people learn new safety skills