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29th January, 2020

Fraudsters preyed on elderly

A criminal gang defrauded more than 30 people, most of them elderly, of a total of Ft 54 million, Budapest Police announced yesterday.

The criminal organisation specialised in fraud directed against elderly people between August 2018 and June 2019.

The group robbed 33 elderly victims of cash and jewellery worth more than Ft 43 million.

Police formed an investigative team in 2018 specifically to fight this kind of crime.

It emerged that many crimes were previously unreported because the victims were ashamed of having been deceived.

The fraudsters used the same scheme to deceive the elderly: they called the victim from a UK telephone number pretending to be a grandchild or a relative.

The callers claimed that they had caused a car accident and needed money to pay for the damage, or that they were in danger of being beaten if they did not provide money.

The callers avoided face-to-face meetings by convincing the victims that they could not personally collect the money or jewellery, but sent a friend.

The offenders may face up to 16 years in prison.

Sources regularly consulted, with abbreviations used in text: Népszabadság (N); Magyar Hírlap (MH); Világgazdaság (VG); Napi Gazdaság (NG); Magyar Nemzet (MN); Népszava (Nsz); Kossuth Rádió news (KR); nightly TV news (TV).

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