A quarter of elderly Dutch people, according to seniors organization KBO-PCOB, have been directly targeted by scammers trying to talk their way into their homes.

Among the 1300 senior citizens surveyed, 1/5 have had items or money stolen from their homes, leading to the recommendation that something more is done about elderly targeting crime, including increased police presence amongst elderly communities. Such instances occur in a relatively straightforward manner with scammers talking their way into victim’s homes. This can come under the guise of deliveries, meter readings, or other practical services. Once inside, scammers excuse themselves from the victim’s presence and, when out of sight, rob the homes.

What’s worse, many victims blame themselves leading to a low percentage of reported cases. Only 15% report the crimes. “People blame themselves for being tricked. That is of course unjustified. They fell victim to shrewd criminals. It is very important that a report is made immediately because scammers go around the entire area looking for the next victim”, said KBO-PCOB director Manon Vanderkaa.