'Grandparent scam' just one way
fraudulent tricks can hurt seniors

It's an all-too-typical scenario when a senior citizen answers the phone:
A widower since last July, the gentleman has been retired many years but still lives independently in his home. He uses a walker to get around the house, but he's really fine, all things considered.
He still can prepare his own meals. His daughter checks on him several times a week, and a neighbor comes by now and then.  He reads the newspaper and watches TV, or sits on the porch on nice days viewing the birds in his feeder. He's content and usually walks to church on Sundays.
Today the phone rings.
"Hi, Grandpa!"

"What? Who's that?"

"Grandpa - don't you know your own grandson's voice?"

"Is that Brian?"

"Yeah, Brian. That's right. How are you, Grandpa?"

"Oh, doin' fine. How are you?"             

"Well, not so good. I wrecked my car and I need help."

"Oh, I'm sorry. What do you need?"

"I'm at the car repair shop. They have to have $800 today or I can't get my car back. And I've got to get to work or I'm going to lose my job. I just don't know what to do."

"Oh, you don't say."
"But if you could help me out, I could pay you back on Friday when I get my paycheck."

"Oh, I see. Well, what can I do?"

"I'll put the man here on the phone and you can give him your credit card number."

"Oh, okay -"
One more unsuspecting elderly citizen just got scammed.

SeniorBsafe ad
According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), "Financial scams targeting seniors have become so prevalent that they're now considered 'the crime of the 21st century.' Why? Because seniors are thought to have a significant amount of money sitting in their accounts."
Money scams also often go unreported or can be difficult to prosecute, so they're considered a "low-risk" crime by the scammers. Yet they can be ruinous for older adults, leaving them in a vulnerable spot with little time to recoup their losses, the NCOA reports. The crime hits both low-income and higher-income older people. And it's not always strangers who perpetrate these crimes. Over 90% of all reported elder abuse is committed by an older person's own family member, most often the adult children, followed by grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and others.
CrimeStoppers of Memphis and Shelby County has a program called SeniorBsafe, which operates a phone line the elderly can call if they are afraid or concerned about something and unsure whom to report their concern to. That includes questions about bewildering or suspicious phone calls. The line is 525-5122. CrimeStoppers will make certain the information is passed to the right authority or agency for help.
The hot line is not for emergencies. Always call 9-1-1 in the case of an emergency. For more information about SeniorBsafe, click here.

Help spread the word

If you like - we hope you do! - you can help the cause against the metal thieves by liking our new CopperStoppers Facebook page. And tell your friends, co-workers and acquaintances.

While you're at it, let them know about the main CrimeStoppers Facebook page too.

Tee-off @ Southwind and do your part in fighting crime

CrimeStoppers' first annual golf tournament, a fundraiser, will be held August 7, 2017 at TPC Southwind in East Memphis, and golfers are signing up their teams.

Start time is 8:30 that morning and the tournament's theme is enticing golfers: "Play where the Pros play and stop crime."
There still is room for players. Click here to sign up your team.
Members of the CrimeStoppers board of directors have lined up several sponsors and we greatly appreciate their support. They include:
TBC Corporation, Dollar Tree/Family Dollar, Fidelity Investments, Huey's, Watkins Uiberall, Lewis Allen Jones, State Farm, Gary & Frances Paulson, Splash Creative, Flemings, Art & Speed, Hedge Farm.
Spotlight shines
on one felony
case every week
Every week CrimeStoppers and the Memphis Police Department put a spotlight on a felony crime, usually but not always a homicide in which investigators need the public's help to make an arrest.
The "crime of the week" feature runs until the case is solved.
CrimeStoppers received tips that helped solve several of the featured cases this past year, including murders.
To see the list of crimes that bring this special focus each week, click here.

Websites building new awareness

CrimeStoppers and its many programs are explained - and the public is engaged - in various places on the internet.
Our main website explains the organization's purpose, and keeps count on major cases in which police need help from citizens -  crimestopmem.org. 
A companion site helps students keep their schools safer -
Senior citizens who are afraid or otherwise need help can find information they can use at another site - seniorbsafe.org.
Spanish-speaking citizens can learn about CrimeStoppers on a fourth site -
Now, because the theft of copper and other metals has become a major problem in the metro area we have launched a website for our newest program, CopperStoppers: