Elderly particularly at risk from new scams, warn Vaud police

Vaud police seeing “explosion” in confidence tricks

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Elderly and their families should ensure they have help for daily errands, someone they know and have confidence in to take them shopping and to the bank, for example, say police

LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND – Elderly people and their families are being cautioned about new schemes to rob them, which sometimes turn violent, warn Vaud police. They have seen an “explosion” since the start of the year in confidence schemes carried out by “juvenile delinguents from the Roms community”, acting alone or in small groups.

The would-be thieves generally observe their targets, then offer to help them, for example by carrying their grocery bags, then gaining their confidence and following them home, or robbing them in elevators.

Anyone who has been approached in this way or who is unsure of a situation should dial emergency number 117, police say.

Police say the best protection is to follow some basic rules, which they are asking anyone with elderly family members to discuss in order to raise their awareness of the problem:

  • When going anywhere outside home, you must absolutely hide your cash and put it somewhere not easily accessible
  • Very strongly recommended: always have someone you know well and trust accompany you when making payments or withdrawing money
  • Don’t accept or get into discussions with anyone who approaches you, when going out on daily errands
  • Those close to an elderly person must make it a top priority to make him or her aware of the problem and to be sure to provide the older person with the necessary help to protect them.