On 6 June 2023, the Lëtzebuerg Police and the Ministry of Family Affairs, Integration and the Greater Region relaunched the "Léif Boma, léiwe Bopa, Loosst iech net beducksen!" awareness campaign, one of the aims of which is to make the elderly - a prime target for criminals - aware of the risks associated with certain current scams.
The campaign was developed by the Police's National Crime Prevention Service and was presented at a press conference by the Minister for Family Affairs and Integration, Corinne CAHEN, and the Central Director of the Administrative Police, Pascal PETERS.
Scams targeting the elderly - but not only the elderly - have increased significantly in recent months. Criminals contact victims by telephone, electronically or even at their front door. The aim is to get the victim to hand over money or valuables, or to provide personal details, or to hand over money at a later date. As a general rule, the thieves seek to destabilise their victims and persuade them, trying all the more to isolate them and/or put them under pressure. They often pose as a representative of a public body such as a police officer or a representative of the Ministry of Family Affairs or a local authority worker, or pretend to be close to the victim's family.
As part of this campaign, the Police are targeting three phenomena in particular:
- Shock phone calls and grandson scams
- SMS or email scams (phishing)
- Front door scams
The police have developed a range of media to raise awareness of these scams among the elderly and their families:
- Explanatory videos summarising the various criminal phenomena and presenting the main preventive messages. These clips will be broadcast mainly on social networks.
- Door hangers that repeat the main preventive messages relating to phenomena taking place at the front door and serve as a visual reminder for the elderly to remain vigilant before they open the front door to strangers.
- Table-top easels serve the same purpose and can be placed near the landline telephone to remind people of the main instructions in the event of a call from a stranger.
- Posters with links to the respective messages on the Police website will be put up in certain strategic locations and establishments, such as police stations, pharmacies, local authorities and supermarkets.
As part of the current campaign, the Police are working closely with associations active in the field of senior citizens, who play an important role as multipliers of the messages. The Police's national crime prevention service is offering information and awareness-raising sessions to interested organisations. They can also help to distribute the material to elderly or isolated people. The material is also available free of charge to any interested person or body on request, and can be downloaded free of charge from the Police website (https://police.public.lu/fr/prevention/programmes-de-prevention/opgepasst.html).
As an important means of relaying information to the target audience, the "Senioresécherheetsberoder" safety advisers for the elderly have also been approached as part of this campaign and made aware of the issue.