A Guide to Scam Protection & Holiday Safety with Sheriff Ivey

December 01, 2023 Sheriff Wayne Ivey Season 3 Episode 66
A Guide to Scam Protection & Holiday Safety with Sheriff Ivey Podcast
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A Guide to Scam Protection & Holiday Safety with Sheriff Ivey
Dec 01, 2023 Season 3 Episode 66
Sheriff Wayne Ivey

Prepare to armor up as we reveal how to construct a "bulletproof vest" of protection against scams and identity theft, with Sheriff Wayne Ivey of the Brevard County Sheriff's Office  as our guide. This episode uncovers the chilling rise in crimes against seniors and emphasizes the urgency for community engagement in crime prevention. Sheriff Ivey, with his years of experience, shares priceless insights into the different types of scams targeting seniors and gives advice on how to prevent falling prey to scammers.

Brace yourself as we venture into the uncanny valley of artificial intelligence voice impersonations and its potential implications for law enforcement.

Just when you thought it was safe to hit the mall or shop online, we open your eyes to the dangers that lurk during the festive season. But don't let that deter your holiday spirit! We offer a sleigh-load of safety tips for seniors during their holiday shopping spree. We conclude this enlightening discussion by acknowledging the critical role of law enforcement and community partnerships in safeguarding our seniors. So, buckle up for this information-packed ride and equip yourself and your loved ones with the knowledge to stay safe from these pervasive crimes. Podcast sponsored by TransMed Care Long Distance Medical Transportation

The background music is written, performed and produced exclusively by

* Webinars and Podcast represents the opinions and expertise of our guests. The content here is for informational and educational purposes. It does not necessarily represent the views, recommendations, opinions or advice of Fairfax Publishing/ or its employees

Show Notes Transcript

Prepare to armor up as we reveal how to construct a "bulletproof vest" of protection against scams and identity theft, with Sheriff Wayne Ivey of the Brevard County Sheriff's Office  as our guide. This episode uncovers the chilling rise in crimes against seniors and emphasizes the urgency for community engagement in crime prevention. Sheriff Ivey, with his years of experience, shares priceless insights into the different types of scams targeting seniors and gives advice on how to prevent falling prey to scammers.

Brace yourself as we venture into the uncanny valley of artificial intelligence voice impersonations and its potential implications for law enforcement.

Just when you thought it was safe to hit the mall or shop online, we open your eyes to the dangers that lurk during the festive season. But don't let that deter your holiday spirit! We offer a sleigh-load of safety tips for seniors during their holiday shopping spree. We conclude this enlightening discussion by acknowledging the critical role of law enforcement and community partnerships in safeguarding our seniors. So, buckle up for this information-packed ride and equip yourself and your loved ones with the knowledge to stay safe from these pervasive crimes. Podcast sponsored by TransMed Care Long Distance Medical Transportation

The background music is written, performed and produced exclusively by

* Webinars and Podcast represents the opinions and expertise of our guests. The content here is for informational and educational purposes. It does not necessarily represent the views, recommendations, opinions or advice of Fairfax Publishing/ or its employees podcast discusses topics which are relevant to the everyday lives of seniors and their caregivers. We are joined by experts who share their knowledge on a variety of issues. podcast offers solutions and resources to create the best quality of life as we age. And now let's welcome your host, Darleen Mahoney. 

Speaker 2: 0:27 

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Speaker 3: 1:47 

Wayne Ivy. 

Speaker 2: 1:48 

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Speaker 4: 1:56 

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Speaker 2: 2:30 

And we are here today with the Sheriff of Brevard County, sheriff Wayne Ivy, who's actually the Sheriff in the county which I live, so I'm super excited to have him on our podcast today. Sheriff Wayne Ivy is currently serving his third term as Sheriff of Brevard County and prior to being elected in 2012, he served the citizens of the state of Florida as the resident agent in charge for the Florida Department of law enforcement for almost 20 years. He has testified before the United States Congress on immigration, opioids and identity theft. Under his direction, the crime rate in Brevard County has dropped almost 50% in the past nine years, which I can appreciate, and has been recognized for the Crime Prevention Unit of the year for the state of Florida. One of the things that I absolutely agree with is Sheriff Ivy firmly believes that it takes a community to protect a community and that crime prevention and education are vital to reducing our crime rate and protecting our citizens, and he's joining us today, especially as we're like entering the holiday season, to talk about senior safety. There's so many different things that are happening right now. The rate of crime is just increasing against our elderly in different ways. It's just not physical, it's online. It's a lot of predatory stuff going on out there. So I've asked him to join us so he can share some of his experience, knowledge and how to protect yourself. Thank you for joining us today. 

Speaker 5: 4:02 

Thank you for having me and thank you for helping get the message out to protect our seniors. 

Speaker 2: 4:07 

Yeah, absolutely, it's my pleasure. So tell us a little bit about some things you're seeing trending now as far as scams per se against some of our elderly, and then also what you might recommend that they do to identify that that is a scam and how they can better protect themselves. 

Speaker 5: 4:29 

Sure, I'll start with. Years ago, when I worked for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, I ran what was then the first ever task force on identity theft, credit card fraud and scams against our seniors First statewide task force in the country, and I remember back during that time telling people that identity theft, credit card fraud was the fastest growing crime in the in the world. Today I add to that by saying it's the most lucrative crime in the world. It victimizes more people each year than any other crime in the world. It's a dynamic that is very difficult to combat because it comes at you in so many different ways, and the things that we know without question is that the most frequently targeted group of identity thieves and scammers is, without question, our seniors. So we work from the aspect of there's not a silver bullet that's going to protect our seniors. It's about layer after layer of protection that is going to do the job to keep them from being crimes. Next victim and, in this case, the next victim of a scam, the next victim of identity theft or even credit card fraud. So we started looking at how do we build what I call our billet proof vest. A billet proof vest, if you're familiar with it is a layer after layer of material that by itself doesn't stop anything, but when woven together it becomes so strong that a bullet won't penetrate it. So we looked at protecting our seniors through layer after layer of protection, and that's what we try and get them to do and that's what's worked so well for us here in Duvall County. So as we look at the scams that are taking place, the scams come from all over the world. They come in all different fashions, from the mail to computer, to somebody knocking on your door with some type of scam that's happening, and so we just asked our seniors to learn to say no, to learn to let their answering machine and their voicemail be their filter and to really strongly limit and be vigilant over who they're talking to on their computers, on their social media, everything else. 

Speaker 2: 6:45 

Yeah, absolutely great. Education is definitely key and you know, my thing is if you don't feel comfortable, it's okay to say no. I mean, you don't always have to be polite. 

Speaker 5: 6:57 

No, and you're exactly right. You know, I learned a long time ago that no, while it's one of the smallest words in the world, it's also one of the most powerful when it's properly used right. And we try and really get our seniors here in Brevard to not even engage with somebody that could be a scammer. That's why I always encourage them to let their voicemail or their answering machine be that filter for them. I kind of joke and tell everybody that I use my voicemail on my phone as a filter, even if my daughter calls because I know she's going to be asking for money. So I send her the voicemail and hopefully can put it off a little bit. But it's one of those where, if you talk to them, a lot of times people think, well, I'm going to turn it around on them and I'm going to talk to them and pull a scam on them, so to speak. Well, the problem is, the longer you talk to them, the more they get information from you. We just ask you to please don't talk to them. If they leave you a message saying your credit card's been suspicious activity. Don't call back the number they give you. Look on the back of your credit card. Look on the back of your bank card there's an 800 number that you can call and be assured that your account hasn't been targeted or your account is safe. So all sorts of little tricks of the trade that we see out there. You're going to laugh about this, but I just looked at my phone line on my desk and my daughter's calling me right now and she's going to voicemail, by the way. 

Speaker 2: 8:21 

So that ESP's kicking in yeah. 

Speaker 5: 8:24 

I hope this is not live, and she heard me no no, I did want to make a note. 

Speaker 2: 8:29 

You're talking about the voicemail. Well, everyone has texting now and I will tell you one of the things that's just absolutely taking off is the text from your quote unquote bank, and that's happening, you know, clearly to everyone, and I get texts from banks that I don't even have an account with. 

Speaker 5: 8:48 

Yeah, I get them all the time saying your discover card's been been targeted. I don't even have a discover card, so you will, you'll get those those things. What we try and encourage everybody is to understand how banks actually work. A bank doesn't call you and tell you that your card's been down or anything of that nature. They just turn it off and you can't use it, you know. Then their investigators start the process. So we try and get our citizens to know that unless you've contacted your bank, don't respond to somebody that's pretended to be your bank in any type of format, whether it's text, whether it's email. We get the big scam right now where they'll call and say that your computer is got a virus and you need to turn it on so that they can work you through defeating the virus. No, you get off the phone immediately. That's a scam. The grandmother scam that goes on, where you're called and told your grandchild's in jail and don't tell mom and dad to send me the bond money. None of that. One of the big scams that we see right now and it's happening universally across the country is they'll call and pretend to be a law enforcement officer and oftentimes they'll even have the name of a local law enforcement officer. They've seen it in the paper or they, you know, dug it up from some research and they'll tell you that you missed jury summons or something of that nature and there's a fine associated with it and you have to get a credit card or a green dot card in order to satisfy that, or they're going to come arrest you. What we always tell everybody is we don't give you a phone call and let you know we're coming to arrest you. We just show up at your house, and so don't fall for that. If they call you and say that you're going to be arrested if you don't pay the fine, say hey, come on and get me, I need a break, come, come arrest me and take me to jail. And nobody's coming to get you, I can assure you. 

Speaker 2: 10:41 

Yeah, and on the grandparent scam that you referred, this actually happened with our family. We had someone in our family that received a call from her son and said that he was in jail, in that he lived out of state and that he needed her to give the information to either his attorney or bondsperson. And don't call dad. The thing that most people don't realize is AI, which is artificial intelligence. Even to this day, she says that was his voice, even though she knows it wasn't. Yeah, you know. 

Speaker 5: 11:14 

AI creates a whole different host of problems that we, to be honest, I don't think we really even fully realize what we're facing yet. With AI, it just creates a new dynamic and voice impersonation of the technology that goes with it being able to represent that it's calling from one number when it's really not. All of those things are problematic and things that law enforcement is going to have to morph to in order to combat it and protect our citizens. 

Speaker 2: 11:46 

Yes, we explain to her. Anytime someone calls you even if you think it's your son and tells you not to call someone, you hang up and say you know what? I'm going to go ahead and call your dad, I'll call you right back, or whatever the case may be, it's just the safest way to go. You need to get a second opinion. 

Speaker 5: 12:05 

Yeah, it's absolutely the safest way to go, as I tell our seniors when they call you, hang up the phone. Your grandchild is safe sleeping in their bed or playing video games or whatever it is they're doing, they're not in jail. This is a scam that goes on. You know, we had a scam locally here a couple of years ago and we see these happen where they actually showed up at one of our seniors door pretending to be law enforcement officers. They were saying they were from another county actually, in this case, duval County showed fake badges which obviously the citizen didn't know, and they asked her to go get her cash. She brought it to them. They said this is counterfeit and we believe somebody at the bank is putting this out. We need you to go with us and do a cash withdrawal so we can see it. And she actually got in the car with them, thinking they were law enforcement officers, and went to the bank and did a cash withdrawal and lost all of her money. The other thing that's real important is, if you encounter something like that, call your local law enforcement agency. Let them know that nothing's too small, nothing's too minor, because if they targeted you and even if they were unsuccessful. They're going to target your neighbor or they're going to target somebody else in that community and law enforcement now has a chance to put that information out. We put out scam alerts all the time on our social media page. They're putting out the information, the type of scam, the latest scam that we're seeing from it. I always recommend websites for people to go to safe websites. One of them is Krebs KREBS on security, r-rund Word Krebs on security, and that keeps you up to date on the latest technology driven scams that are out there, how they're trying to cyber attack you. And then the other one is 419 Eater E-A-T-E-R. 419eatercom and that will keep you up on the latest scams that we generally see come out of countries like Nigeria and places like that. 

Speaker 2: 14:08 

That is fabulous information. I mean, you can't keep track of the scams that are happening, especially, as you mentioned, ai. Who can keep up with that anymore? If you just check the websites and kind of see what's current and happening in scam world, then you can kind of get a clue as to kind of what's going on, even if you're not a senior, if you're a caretaker or a family member of a senior, to keep updated on that, so you can talk to your parents about it, Especially if they start sharing information over the dinner table with oh, I had someone call me XYZ and then you're going ding, ding, ding. This does not sound right Because a lot of times that's how it happens. I know with me my dad. I didn't realize it till after I had access to all of his things because I had power of attorney and he started getting dementia. I realized that forever he was writing a check for $500 to an attorney in Tennessee that did not exist. 

Speaker 5: 15:08 

Wow. Well, you know and that brings up an interesting point, because we know for a fact that one of the things our seniors fear the most is losing their independence. So oftentimes, when they do realize they've been victimized, they don't report it because they're scared that their son or their daughter, or whoever their caretaker is, is going to take away some of their independence, their ability to control their income and their expenditures and stuff. So what we try and reinforce is any of us at any given time, myself included, can become the victim of identity theft, credit card fraud or something of that nature. While it may be embarrassing, it's not the end of the world and we're able to at least get to it, investigate it, work it and perhaps keep somebody else from being victimized by this. So we really try to reinforce reporting these types of crimes so that we can try and get to the bottom of it. Unfortunately, a lot of these crimes, the perpetrator is sitting in another country somewhere, doing all of this through the computer, doing all of this through a cellular telephone that they're going to throw away 10 minutes later, and it makes it difficult to track and it makes it difficult to arrest the perpetrator. But at the very least we want to do everything we can to be able to try and restore that person back to their original place. 

Speaker 2: 16:23 

Yeah, absolutely. Especially when you're using a lawyer or a law firm, because seniors specifically, they want to do things legally and by the book typically, and when a lawyer calls them and say you owe this money or I'm going to sue you, or this, that or the other. That was the feedback I got from my dad. I don't know. He told me I owed it or I was going to be in trouble. It's going to an attorney, so he's paying this. And I contacted this person and they disappeared. They were gone, yeah, gone. Such great information with Sheriff Wayne Ivey from the Brevard County Sheriff's Department. But we are going to take a quick break for our sponsors. Transmed Care Long Distance Medical Transportation. 

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Speaker 2: 17:40 

We are back with Sheriff Wayne Ivey and we're going to jump right back into it. 

Speaker 5: 17:44 

The other part of that is the generation ahead of us that I'm fast approaching being part of. Everything was done on your word, on a handshake, on a verbal commitment, and so that's the world they still live in. Unfortunately, these criminals don't live in that world. Unfortunately, these criminals take advantage of that incredible time in the world. We just really try to get our seniors to understand. There are those out there that are going to scam you. There are those out there that are going to steal your identity, steal your social security number, steal your mail, all of those things that is out there and that's another trend that we're really seeing start to circle back around is check washing. Where they go through the neighborhoods, they steal mail. You know, when you look at what we get in the mail, we get two things we get important stuff and we get junk. When you look at what we mail out, we only mail out important stuff. It's something that pertains to an account, it's a check, any of those things that are money in the bank to a check washer and you know I kind of laugh when I say this, but because it's important, we put the red flag up on the mailbox and say here's my important stuff come steal it. Well, I dropped through your neighborhood. I steal your mail out of your mailbox. Now I take your checks and that I found in there. And even if we put it in the simplest form, if you're sending your niece or nephew a birthday card, what do you put in it? You put cash, a check or a gift card. All of those are money in the bank for me. So I take the check out, I use a chemical solution to wash the ink out of the check and now I'm able to write that check payable to whomever. And you never know the difference until it's cleared your bank. And the bank doesn't know the difference until you call them and tell them hey, that wasn't me. So it's not only a way to steal money, it's a way to postpone somebody finding out that that money's been stolen. Also, they're taking the checks on the bottom, using the microcoding to create, use programs like Versacec, everything else. So our recommendation to defeat that is two things run when writing the check, use a uni gel ball pen. That's a deeper penetrating ink. And two, try and mail from a secure mailbox. Try, and even if it means taking it to the post office Again, does that guarantee you're not going to be the victim. Nope, we've arrested postal employees for stealing mail before, but it's that extra layer of protection. Again, we're building that bulletproof vest around ourselves. 

Speaker 2: 20:18 

Absolutely the uni ball. Is that what you said? 

Speaker 5: 20:21 

Yeah, uni gel ball pen. 

Speaker 2: 20:23 

Uni gel ball pen. 

Speaker 5: 20:26 

Yeah, uni-gel ball. Uni gel ball pen. 

Speaker 2: 20:29 

That's a good note. I used to work in banking, so is that just harder to wash out? 

Speaker 5: 20:35 

It deeper, penetrates the type of ink that it is, Even with using a uni gel ball pen. There are certain chemical solutions that are still pulled out. Those chemical solutions are a little bit more difficult to get than some of the other stuff. They use Carbon tetrachloride, which is a chemical. In carpet clinging will pull that out. 

Speaker 2: 20:55 

Yeah, the notes to try to stay safe from certain things I think is important. It just decreases your risk, but there's clearly no 100% guarantee. 

Speaker 5: 21:03 

There's not. You know, another skin that we see a lot of our seniors get hit on is getting their credit card skin Because they travel and they eat out a lot and things of that nature. You know, we're a convenience driven society. We sit at our table, we have our meal, we have a cup of coffee and a dessert, and our server walks over, we give them our credit card and they walk away and they swipe it through a skimmer and while we're still sitting in the restaurant our information's probably already been sold in the chat room somewhere to a skimmer. So you know, one of the recommendations we make is never hand your credit card to somebody you don't personally know. If you're in a restaurant, ask them can you pay at the cash register? If they say no, ask them to bring the manager over so that at least again we're elevating that trust level. We're putting that manager in the play. Now another layer of it A lot of restaurants have gone to where you physically pay at the table and they bring the device straight over to you. Great, good way not to get skimmed. But the restaurants, technology and their cyber protections are not significant enough. Somebody can sit outside with a laptop, like I'm talking on right now and steal not only your credit card number but all of the others that circulate through that system. 

Speaker 2: 22:20 

Oh my gracious, and we just keep wanting to go cashless. This is killing me. 

Speaker 5: 22:25 

Well, you know, the downside to, you know, carrying cash is if you lose your money or somebody robs you, you're not getting your money back. So at least with credit cards you're not out of anything other than time and stress. 

Speaker 2: 22:39 

Yes, and credit cards versus debit cards. It's a lot easier to get your money back on a credit card than it is a debit card. 

Speaker 5: 22:47 

It is, and the money that you do have in the bank that you're allowing to pay your bills is now locked down until you get through that process. So I always recommend having a separate credit card that you use to do your transactions with. You know are going to be online transactions, gas pump transactions. Gas pump skimming is huge. Most of the gas pumps have universal keys so that the maintenance people can get inside them and work on them. They'll go inside, they'll put an inline skimmer into the gas pump and now they're skimming your credit card when you put it in. You know criminals have nothing to do but sit around and figure out a way to be criminals. We go through our lives working and taking care of our families and everything else, while they're sitting around trying to figure out how to steal from us. 

Speaker 2: 23:38 

I was going to ask you about the gas pumps because I've had that happen to me multiple times. Every single time it was at a gas station located near the magic kingdom or Disney World, but that was prior to tap. So do you find that tapping reduces the risk because there's nothing to scam? 

Speaker 5: 23:57 

So you know it's not new, but it's relatively new to the point where there's not a lot of data on it yet. To show, One thing I learned in my time, especially when I was running the task force, is whatever feature is put in place, whatever security feature is put in place to stop the criminal element, they will defeat it in about six months and anything that's transmittable has the ability to be intercepted from there. First time that we saw really how quickly they can defeat something was going, and I'm going to take you way back to the Olympics in Atlanta. When they set up the Olympic Village, they put cash machines, debit machines where you could go and do your transactions right there. They were out for the time period of the Olympics the summer Olympics that were in Atlanta. When they picked them up and put them on the truck, the security on them was obsolete because the criminal element had already figured out how to defeat them in just that one month window. So it really puts into perspective how quickly they do things, and so we have to just like they're constantly changing and evolving. We have to constantly change and evolve, but the one thing that doesn't change, the one thing that never changes our citizens are the first line of defense in protecting themselves, using their voicemail and answering machines as a filter not answering the door for anybody they don't know, not responding to things that pop up on your computer. And to give you an idea of the volume of that, the Brevard County Sheriff's Office on average gets 5,000 cybersecurity attempts, 5,000 a day. If we're on something that has national or global attention, maybe it's being one of the major news outlets, maybe it's a significant case that took place. Whatever that is our cyber attempts go up to about 20,000. Wow, they're attacking the Sheriff's Office. So imagine what they're doing to you, the citizen that's just got your regular computer set up on your desk. 

Speaker 2: 26:13 

Yeah, I don't know how much fun they'd have with what I have on here. Where did she shop last? What senior living community did she check out? You know it's not too exciting. 

Speaker 5: 26:23 

Right, but you just take what you just said where you shop last at. That gives them the ability to build a profile on you. The senior seniors that you're visiting because of the job you do to help protect seniors actually would tell them where they can go and find vulnerable people at. For them, it's about building that data empire that's going to get them to the most people. 

Speaker 2: 26:48 

So they're doing the same thing as Mark Zuckerberg. 

Speaker 5: 26:50 

Basically yep. 

Speaker 2: 26:52 

Basically yes. So let me ask you this we are approaching the holidays. This seems to be more of a vulnerable time for seniors, because shoplifting increases, people get greedy or people want more things during the holiday season and they'll take it from others, and seniors are more of a vulnerable part of our society for multiple different reasons. Do you see an uptick in that, and is there a way that our seniors can protect themselves on just specifically some of the holiday things that you see coming down the pipeline? 

Speaker 5: 27:26 

So what makes us more vulnerable during the holidays is two things. One is the increase in usage. We're traveling more, we're buying things online, we're buying things in stores, we're sending checks through the mail for Christmas. All of these things drive the usage rate up, which, now the perpetrators have more opportunity at their greed and their guilt, is one driving point. Our increased usage is the other driving. So what we want you to do is to make sure, if you're buying online, you are using a secure website when you're searching for something. Don't look, don't go to the sponsored ones. Go and find the official site. Make sure you're on a locked search web and on a site that tells you it's a secure site. You know, that's one side of it. The other side is a lot of our seniors are not technology savvy, and so they're not shopping online. They're still shopping the traditional way of going to the stores, the outlets, the malls, whatever it is, and so we encourage them to limit exposure. Don't let somebody shoulder surf you and get your credit card information. We encourage them to shop in pairs, don't shop by yourself. We encourage them to make sure that they're not leaving their packages in plain view. They've gone in one store and bought some things. Now they're going to another store and they leave the packages in plain view, where the perpetrators are knocking the windows out, even down to post Christmas, post holidays. What you said at the curb tells the criminal element what you got. So if you set out a big TV box at the curb, they know you just bought a big flat screen TV. So be careful, take those things directly to the waste management area and that way you're not exposing yourself to somebody breaking into your home. The other thing is be vigilant when you travel. There's not a lot you can do about the credit card skimmers that are installed in the gas pumps. You're not going to know they're there. But what we do encourage is only use the same credit card when you travel. Have a backup credit card that's available. So if you are traveling and your credit card gets skimmed, you still have a means to get back home and those things. If you're somebody that has a computer or laptop, keep a constant view on your bank account. Constantly check your account. Constantly check with real time credit card transactions. We're able to look at our credit card and see what was just spent 30 minutes ago. Make sure you're taking advantage of those things. 

Speaker 2: 30:06 

Absolutely In personal safety. This is just my experience. When my daughter was in a stroller and very young. I was at the mall shopping and I realized that someone was following me. It was nighttime and it was in Virginia. They never came into the store with me, but they would stay out into the mall area. I started noticing it because he had high waters on. To be frank with you, it just kind of stood out. But I just realized he was following me. In my mind I'm thinking I just got to leave, I just want to get out of here, and it scared me to death. I was like 22 years old and had this little baby and this little umbrella stroller. I thought to myself I'm just going to make a run for the car. Then I started realizing I got to get her out of this stroller. I don't know what he wants. I got to fold the stroller. I got to get in my car and it was dark outside the store right before the main, like the Macy's or the Dillards. I stopped and I said to them. I said don't look, but can you please call security? Just as soon as security came around the corner and he saw them, he took off running and he ran through the main store. He was gone. They did not catch him. I was scared to go home because I didn't realize at what point did he start following me? Did he follow me from my home? I don't know. But being vigilant on your surroundings and the people that are following you and don't do what I was about to do. Do not ever make a run for it. 

Speaker 5: 31:43 

Yeah, you're exactly right. What we prefer is call us if that level of suspicion goes up, or even ask the store manager to walk you out to your car. The other thing, too, is we always think about going to the mall and shopping. Going to the grocery store has the same exposure. One of the things that I recommend is, when you pull into a parking space, we want you to not bounce out of your car. Usually, especially this time of the year, it's the hustle and bustle. You got 25 things you got to get done and you pull in the parking space and bounce right out of the car. What we prefer is for you to sit in your car for a moment. Doors locked, engines running, you're in a safe environment as far as things go. Take a look around. See what's going on in the parking lot around you. Look at cars that are nearby. You might be about to step out into the middle of a domestic. You might be about to step out into the middle of somebody trying to rob somebody else, or a 16-year-old that's driving through the parking lot with their hair on fire. All of those things spell trouble for us. We want you to take a pause, take a deep breath and then go in. Obviously, we like for you to park as close to the store as possible, but that's not always possible, especially in today's time. Everybody's shopping and everything else when you're coming out of the store. We want you to put that in reverse. We want you to stop before you ever come out through the safe and sound security of the store. You're in and pause. You did exactly right. You looked outside. You saw what was going on. We want our citizens to do the same thing. Take a pause, then head out. Have your car keys readily accessible to you. Today we usually don't, especially our ladies. They're in the bottom of their purse because we don't need car keys anymore to get into our car. It's walk up and touch and you're in, since we let you in. But what's on those car keys? Is that alarm? And that oftentimes can be just the thing to push somebody away. I always tell everybody, especially when I'm doing personal safety. We've been taught our whole lives not to draw attention to ourselves. In this scenario, you want to draw attention to yourself. In fact, I like it. When you're walking to your car, set your alarm off on purpose. Draw attention to yourself. Let everybody in the parking lot be looking at you going. Look at that crazy person. Can't turn their alarm off. But I promise you, the person that's thinking about trying to rob you or harm you is not going to come up to you while everybody's looking at you in the parking lot. And so little tricks of the trade, that extra layer that might just be the layer that saves your life. 

Speaker 2: 34:15 

Yeah, if you feel uncomfortable, if someone's approaching you and you don't feel comfortable, make a scene, it's okay. 

Speaker 5: 34:20 


Speaker 2: 34:21 

After that incident. I had made several scenes after because I got freaked out very easily, because it started just scaring me. 

Speaker 5: 34:29 

Yeah, yeah. The other thing, too, is we want our citizens to be prepared to protect themselves. You know, from living here in Brevard County, I'm the biggest second amendment sheriff You'll ever meet in your life. I want our citizens to be armed and ready to protect themselves, but not everybody is comfortable carrying a gun, and so I want them to have something else that they're comfortable with. Whether that's something else is a taser, pepper spray, whatever that is. But it's not just about carrying. It's about practicing To use it and deploy it. If you ever have to, just going out and buying something to protect yourself with is Not going to stop it. You have to be prepared to actually use it and know how to use it. We want everybody to already have done there. What if we, what if ourselves all the time? What if I lost my job? What if I got sick? What if I missed the bus? All of these what if? Scenarios I Learn our citizens to. What if? What if somebody tried to physically attack me? How am I going to respond? And you notice I use the word respond, not react, because there's a big difference. Our response is a methodic approach to saving your life in this case, and not a reaction of oh my gosh, what am I going to do? We want people to be prepared to respond. 

Speaker 2: 35:47 

Absolutely don't live in fear, because you still have to live your life, but be prepared, be proactive. I think those are amazing tips. I really appreciate all your help today. 

Speaker 5: 35:56 

Yeah, absolutely. 

Speaker 2: 35:57 

Do you have any last thoughts before we sign off? 

Speaker 5: 36:00 

We're very blessed in Bavar County. We have a community that loves their law enforcement officers. In fact, as I've become accustomed to telling people, they love us, trust us and protect us just as much as we love trust and protect them. So go be partners with your law enforcement officers, wherever you may reside. If you see something, say something, let them know, and if it's something that was, was tried to be perpetrated against you, they're gonna try it against your neighbor. And so if you see something, say something. 

Speaker 2: 36:30 

Yeah, absolutely. Thank you so much for joining us today. I really appreciate it, sheriff Ivy. 

Speaker 5: 36:35 

It was my pleasure. Again, thank you for getting the word out and help and protect our seniors. We. We are blessed here in our community. 

Speaker 2: 36:41 

Yeah, absolutely. If you enjoyed this podcast, please Listen and share our podcast. We can be found anywhere you listen to podcasts Spotify,