Secure Seniors campaign to start on 1 September
By working together, we can ensure that crime doesn't pay. With this in mind, the Ministry of Justice and Security will be initiating the Secure Seniors campaign on 1 September in collaboration with various other parties. During this period, senior citizens will be given concrete tips to prevent them becoming victims of crime as well as information on what to do if the worst does happen. For four weeks, our theme of 'don't make it easy for fraudsters' will focus on various types of crime: 'shoulder surfing' (watching PIN numbers being entered), distraction burglary, fraudulent requests for assistance (e.g. via WhatsApp) and phishing.
Today, Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus announced that actor Kees Hulst would be the ambassador of the campaign.
'My role on 'The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen' (a Dutch drama set in an old people's home) has clearly shown me just how much senior citizens value their independence and want to be in control of their lives',
They can do a lot to prevent themselves from falling prey to fraudsters, but to do so, they need accurate information. For this reason, I am honoured to serve as ambassador to this campaign, as together with the government we can help senior citizens make fraudsters' lives as difficult as possible!'
It can happen to anyone
Although in general, senior citizens are no more likely to be victims of crime than people in other age groups, we think that every victim is one too many. Furthermore, the police and the Fraud Helpdesk have seen a significant shift in crime trends since the Covid crisis. For example, the number of victims of fraudulent requests for assistance (e.g. via WhatsApp) has increased substantially and there has been a rise in cases of distraction burglary, where criminals knock on the door and offer 'assistance' to their victims.
Anyone can become a victim of such crime, including senior citizens. For this reason, the campaign will give people concrete perspectives for action that will help minimise the risk of becoming a victim of crime. If a senior citizen does fall victim to a fraudster, it is important that they are able to talk about it and vital that they press charges, so the campaign will also focus on these aspects. This universal information and handy tips can be used by people of all ages, such as children, grandchildren, neighbours and caregivers.
Each week in September will focus on a different type of crime. In week 36, (1/9 until 7/9), we will highlight 'shoulder surfing', in week 37 (8/9 until 14/9) we will concentrate on distraction burglary, week 38 (15/9 until 21/9) will be all about fraudulent requests for assistance (e.g. via WhatsApp) and week 39 (22/9 until 28/9) will focus on phishing.
Every week, new information videos starring Kees Hulst will be released via www.maakhetzeniettemakkelijk.nl as well as numerous websites and social media channels belonging to the Ministry of Justice and Security and the other parties involved. A wide range of organisations have got involved to distribute the campaign material via their communication channels, including senior citizens' associations, the Centre for Crime Prevention and Security, the Fraud Helpdesk, Victim Support Netherlands, banks, the telecoms sector and numerous municipalities.
In addition, Catherine Keyl will present a webinar on www.maakhetzeniettemakkelijk.nl every Tuesday at 10:30, during which a panel of experts will discuss the theme of the week.