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Oakland County Sheriff's Office

First, remember that while you are at home there two ways in which you can be contacted: your door and your telephone.

At the Door

SeniorsMost of the time, the person at your door will be there for a legitimate reason, whether he/she is a friend or stranger.

If the caller is a recognized friend, there should be no problem. If the caller is a stranger, you should immediately become alert. Never open your door to a stranger. You should have a one-way peephole installed in the door that allows you to see who the caller is. The one-way peephole is inexpensive and easily installed.

If a stranger is legitimately at your door, he/she will not object to your being cautious. Establish the caller's identity and the reason for the visit.

If he/she refuses to show identification and will not leave, quietly go to the telephone and call the police.

If you live in an apartment complex, telephone your building superintendent. Should the caller produce identification but you are still not sure of the validity of the visit, telephone the caller's business office for confirmation.

If you still feel uncomfortable, do not open your door; ask the caller to return in 30 minutes or an hour. This will allow you sufficient time to contact a friend or relative to be present when the caller returns. Being cautious increases your safety and well being.

There are a number of ways you can secure your doors. If you do not feel your locks are adequate, we recommend that you contact a professional locksmith or a friend to assist you. (North Vancouver RCMP have literature on home security that will provide you information on various residential locking devices.) Should you consider improving the security of your home, investigate thoroughly your lock requirements and the cost of upgrading the security of your doors themselves for a lock is only as effective as the door and frame on which it is installed.

On the Telephone

You control conversations and information flow on your telephone. If you do not know the caller, do not volunteer information. Should the caller ask "Who is this?" you should respond "Who are you calling?" or "To whom do you wish to speak?" Make the caller identify who he/she is calling. If you do not receive an appropriate response, hang up.

Do not allow yourself to be drawn into conversations with strange callers, census/survey takers or business promotion sales persons where you will be asked to reveal your name, address, marital status, personal history information etc. Never give out personal information over the telephone. If the call is legitimate and representative actually requires the information, arrange a meeting to your convenience. The legitimate caller will respect your position and agree to an alternative approach. If in doubt, ask the caller for the name of the business and the telephone number so that you can return the call. Then check the number to ensure that it corresponds to the caller's information.

In the case of obscene telephone calls, night calls from strangers or frequent wrong numbers, call the telephone company and seek their advice. If necessary, change your telephone number.