The latest doorstep scam in Spain: police warn of the 'neighbour' trick

The latest doorstep scam in Spain: police warn of the 'neighbour' trick

The modus operandi of this latest ruse consists of tracking down the homes of elderly people, pretending to be a relative or friend of a neighbour and, after being invited in to wait for that person, stealing from the homeowner

La Rioja

Friday, 28 June 2024, 14:28

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National Police in La Rioja in northern Spain have warned of a new type of scam targeting elderly people. It is the so-called 'neighbour scam', and it is happening across the region of La Rioja and in neighbouring provinces.

The modus operandi of these scammers consists of identifying any home belonging to an elderly person. They call at that address pretending to be a relative or friend of a neighbour and, under the pretext of waiting for said friend or relative, they are all too often invited to wait for them in the elderly person's home. Then, once inside, jewellery, valuables and money can be stolen with distraction techniques.

For the first stage of the scam, offenders would stake out neighbourhoods and pick out their elderly victims. They would go to the trouble of obtaining personal information about the victims in order to be credible when presenting themselves as a relative or close friend of a neighbour. Subsequently, the victims would be approached either by knocking on their door or by instigating a chance encounter in the street.


National Police warn that it is important for all members of the public to be alert and to use extreme caution to avoid this type of crime on their own doorstep.

Above all, they advise people to be alert and very cautious if a person approaches under any kind of pretext. We should be suspicious and never give away personal details to strangers or allow them access to our home.

If you have had any such contact on your doorstep, or just near your home with people who make you suspicious, if you have any doubts at all, you should call the 091 incident room of the National Police as soon as possible.

The National Police are also reminding everyone, especially the elderly, not to open their front door or allow access into their home to people claiming to belong to household utility supply companies if they have not requested their presence (gas, electricity, water or internet technicians).

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