The one-time practice of knocking on the front door and pretending to be an officer of the law has run its course for those intent on robbing pensioners in their homes. It has, instead, fast become commonplace for thieves to telephone ahead of time to lure their way in by securing an invite to visit.
“It’s a kind of two-stage operation, calling to prepare the pensioner and booking a time to come and see them in their home,” Peter Sundman of the Norrort police in Stockholm told the TT news agency.
In the past week, Norrort police has received five reports of such incidents. During the phone call, the impersonators usually ask questions concerning credit cards, pin codes and value of possessions.
“They claim that the pensioners are living in an area specifically targeted by burglars and offer to send a police officer to inspect the home to discuss safety issues,” Sundman added.
Once they have made their entrance, any valuables are quick to disappear.
“We had a case where a man was stripped of 50,000 Swedish kronor ($7,500),” Sundman said.
The police are warning all homeowners to stay alert and be aware of the potential scam. They add that genuine officers never ask such questions over the phone and do not make house calls to talk about security.
“You should always ask to see identification,” Sundman added.