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Cst. Steve Holmes says seniors have once again been targeted for an over-the-phone scam. (File photo - Kelly Hayes)
Cst. Steve Holmes says seniors have once again been targeted for an over-the-phone scam. (File photo - Kelly Hayes)

Cops warn again about senior scam

by RCMP - Story: 52386
Jan 30, 2010 / 12:00 pm

When this particular fraud was first detected, back in December 2009, a
media release was sent out warning the public in an effort to educate.
Since that time, more reports of the same fraud have been reported to
police.

Once again, police would like to warn the public to not fall victim to this
fraud, the scenario of which is explained below.

The victim gets a call from someone claiming to be a family member, a young
adult, that is supposedly incarcerated in jail elsewhere in Canada. In some
instances, the caller has also claimed to be a lawyer representing the
family member.

The caller asks for $5,000 to be wired to them in order to facilitate their
release from jail. In one instance, the 88-year-old male victim wired the
money to his "grandson", whose name was correctly given. The next day the
"grandson" called back thanking the victim, and asked for another $5,000 for
court costs. At that point, the victim called his real grandson to find out
that he was currently living in another country, and was not in jail.

In another instance, the 86-year-old female victim received a call from a
male claiming to be her "grandson" and gave the same story. The victim,
possibly suspecting something funny was going on, asked to speak to the
caller's lawyer. The caller said the lawyer would call her. No one called
her back. She saved herself $5,000.

The fact that criminals are, once again, preying upon the senior, more
vulnerable members of society, is despicable.

Sadly, police can do little more than warn the public as it almost
impossible to track down the suspects involved for they are generally
operating from outside of the country.

Be wary of anyone who asks for money in any way be it face to face, over the
internet, by phone or by mail. Always ask questions and follow up to see if
the requester is legitimate. Familiarize yourself with the documented active
scams by checking out websites such as phonebusters.com or safecanada.ca but
be aware that there could be more scams going on than what are listed.

Lastly, report incidents of interactions with would be fraudsters by calling
the police. A lot of these scams are perpetrated very quickly in a given
area, and take people by surprise. The sooner the scam is reported, the
sooner the public can be warned.


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