Police in Oslo were warning local residents against two men who have swindled at least 25 elderly people in recent months, the latest just in the past week. After claiming they need to fix their victims’ cable TV systems, they manage to get ahold of their victims’ bank cards and PIN codes, and quickly empty their accounts at a nearby minibank.
Police told newspaper Aftenposten that the men, reported to appear friendly and professional, arrive on the doorsteps of their victims, who often have been women living alone. After claiming they need to fix their TVs or cable systems, they produce a bankcard terminal for payment. In one case, they managed to pull NOK 30,000 (USD 5,000) out of their victim’s account.
Three women, all living in Groruddalen on Oslo’s east side, were swindled last Wednesday. Reports began coming in of the two men last spring and they’ve been busy again this summer.
Police warned the public not to open their doors for anyone claiming to be from a public utility or service company from which no service was ordered. “We’ve had a major increase in crimes against the elderly in recent months,” Anne Solem of the Stovner police station in Oslo told Aftenposten. “We consider this aggravated robbery, and that the crime is organized.”
A search was underway for the men, described as between 20 and 35 years old with black hair and speaking accented Norwegian. Police had video of one of the men taking money from one of his victim’s accounts at a local minibank (ATM), but he was wearing a cap and sunglasses and difficult to identify.