COVID-19: Faking and entering

Organised property crime

COVID-19 Home


We expect more criminals will become involved in organised property crime during the pandemic. Criminals try to cash in on COVID-19 by targeting society’s most vulnerable groups, such as senior citizens.

Faking and entering
  • How do they do it?

    • Impersonating a police officer and asking their victims to hand over their money for safekeeping during the COVID-19 crisis. 
    • Pretending to be a sick relative and asking for help with medical costs. 
    • Dropping by unexpectedly and offering to disinfect the victim’s home or administer a COVID-19 test, while using the opportunity to steal valuables. 
    • Offering to run errands for those who cannot leave their homes. Once criminals get cash, cards or a PIN, they will never return. 

     

  • What can I do? 

    Stay vigilant and remind your relatives and neighbours:

    • don’t let strangers into their house;
    • never hand over money or other valuables to strangers (police and other authorities will never ask to do so);
    • use official channels to get home care support;     
    • always report suspicious activity to the police. 

     

Medical equipment has become a precious commodity. Thieves have been stealing essential medical supplies such as masks, gowns, gloves, disinfectants and ventilators.

This affects:

  • the healthcare system as medical care facilities will have to purchase more equipment to make up for the loss;
  • the patients who cannot benefit from the required care;
  • the medical staff who cannot properly protect themselves against COVID-19.
Faking and entering - medical equipment
  • How do they do it?

    • Criminals break into hospitals, storage rooms or cargo. 
    • Criminals can pose as delivery persons or technicians, claiming to have been asked to deliver the equipment to another institution or that they need to inspect or service the machines. 

     

  • What can medical professionals and suppliers do?

    • Raise awareness among the hospital staff on the importance of safeguarding the equipment.
    • Don’t leave medical equipment unattended. 
    • Protect and lock storage rooms. 
    • Transport medical supplies in unmarked vehicles.  
    • Encourage reporting – make sure employees are aware of the risks and know who to address if they suspect any wrongdoing. 
    • If possible, increase security during this period (e.g. cameras, security staff, etc.).