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    LBPD Alert: East Division Reports Scams Targeting Seniors Esp. in Los Altos Area; LBPD Offers Tips For You And/Or Your Parents To Avoid Becoming Victims

    (June 29, 2005) -- LBPD's East Patrol Division says it's been experiencing several attempts by con-artists to victimize area seniors -- specifically in the Los Altos area.

    LBPD offers specific advice below to ensure that you and/or your parents avoid becoming victims.

    In an information bulletin, LBPD cautions residents to be aware of the following [LBPD text follows]

    • Strangers who approach you in a public place and engage you in conversation about personal matters, such as recent hospital stays or your medication or strangers who offer to carry your groceries home for you. Strangers should not be inquring about your personal matters. Do not trust them and do not allow them to follow you home.

    • Strangers who come to your residence requesting access into your home or backyard, and say they are representatives from the gas, water, cable or electrical companies. Do not allow them into your residence or backyard until you have asked for their identification. Check to make sure they are wearing an official uniform and check to see that their vehicle has official company markings on it. If in doubt, call 911 for police assistance or their respective company to confirm their identity and purpose of visit.

    • Strangers who come to your residence under the pretense of fixing your plumbing, checking your gas line or trimming your trees in an effort to gain entry into your residence. If you didnít call their company for assistance, they probably should not be knocking on your door. If in doubt, call 911 for police assistance.

    • Strangers who come to your residence and tell you that your roof needs to be fixed or that you need new windows. Once again, if you did not initiate the contact with a reputable company, they should not be knocking on your door and telling you that your roof needs to be fixed or your windows need to be replaced. Call 911 for police assistance.

    • Strangers who come to your residence and say that their childís ball or toy has gone over your back fence. Leave the stranger on your front porch, go into the backyard and obtain the item yourself. Throw the item over the front yard fence for the stranger to retrieve it themselves. Con-artists have been known to ask for entry and then once inside, they distract you and take your money and valuables.

    LBPD says if you're approached by anyone regarding financial transactions or business matters, especially if they are asking for money up front, you're urged to call 911 immediately. If you have any questions or have been the victim of any of these types of scams, contact Sgt. Dan Brooks of LBPD's Burglary Detail, at (562) 570-7351.

    And if you'd like further information about these senior scams, call LBPD's Community Relations Division at (562) 570-7215.

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