Fake healthcare worker convicted in elderly blood prick scam
A 21-year-old woman from Ede was convicted and sentenced by the District Court of Midden-Nederland to 2 years and 6 months in prison for posing as a healthcare worker who swindled elderly people out of their savings. She was accused along with a 23-year-old from Utrecht of carrying out blood prick tests on the unsuspecting victims, and then robbing them.
The Utrecht suspect was acquitted due to a lack of evidence.
The court determined that last October, the young woman visited the homes of elderly victims in Utrecht, Ouderkerk aan de Amstel and Eindhoven. She used a finger prick method to test a drop of blood, and immediately claimed that blood values were incorrect, the court ruled. She charged the victims a fee for the exam and medication she said could fix the blood values, which victims could pay for straight away using their debit cards.
That gave her the opportunity to steal debit cards and the PIN code associated with it, the court ruled. Shortly after the exams, she stole thousands of euros from the victims' accounts, according to police, prosecutors, and the court verdict. The court then deduced from the various sources of evidence that it was the same suspect who struck at various locations last year and ruled that she was guilty of multiple scams and thefts. According to the ruling, the accused betrayed the trust of vulnerable elderly and violated their physical integrity by piercing their fingers.
One case was the subject of a police campaign warning people not to fall for a scam where a man and woman posed as a nurse using the flu epidemic as a means of convincing people to let them in their home. The duo were accused of carrying out the blood prick scam on a 90-year-old man from Eindhoven, where the woman carried out the exam and the man searched the home for valuables.
That man lost four thousand euros from his account. At the time, it was not clear if different groups were carrying out the same scam in multiple locations.
The court gave her a sentence of 2 years and 6 months imprisonment, a lower penalty than the five years demanded by the prosecutor. The court explained that it acquitted her of other charges pressed by the prosecutor for insufficient evidence. The money she earned with the crimes must be repaid, the court ruled. It set the amount at just under nine thousand euros in total.