Rise in home robberies, FPS Interior publishes warnings and advice

Rise in home robberies, FPS Interior publishes warnings and advice
Credit: Benoit Doppagne/Belga.

In the wake of a wave of thefts, FPS Interior – the public service in charge of Belgium's home affairs – has unveiled a list of tips to prevent home robberies.

The administration's experts have seen a 30% rise in these thefts perpetrated by scammers since the start of autumn. After soliciting the counsel of 70 theft prevention advisers, FPS Interior on Friday indicated concern about schemes that target the elderly and those living alone.

This comes on the heels of another internal survey by FPS Interior which found that home robberies have risen by 5% in 2022 compared to the previous year, with an official total of 4,290 victims. The agency has subsequently issued a number of precautions to avoid becoming the prey of potential robbers.

It urges households to be wary of any unexpected visitors ringing at their doorbell, especially given that they tend to dress up and adapt their tricks. Many are now said to be posing as energy suppliers due to the ongoing energy crisis. The administration warns against letting anyone into your home unless they can prove their identity.

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They also warn households to be wary of scammers posing as bogus bank workers on the phone. These mostly target the elderly, telling victims that their bank accounts have been plundered. They then offer to visit them at their home to "help", and personally ask for sensitive bank data and even steal other items from the house.

Finally, FPS Interior asks any victims of a robbery to report the crime to the police; the majority of thefts are unreported.

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