A fraudster was no match for an alert 77-year-old Qualicum Beach resident.
Oceanside RCMP report they have received three recent reports of the ‘Grandparent Emergency Scam’.
In this latest case, the complainant was called by a distraught young man purporting to be the complainant’s grandson. He claimed to be in custody and needed bail money wired to him. Another man came on the phone and stated he was a police officer and that money was indeed needed for bail. Luckily the complainant had heard of this scam and asked enough questions that the fraudster simply hung up.
“These scams are operated by fraudsters claiming to be a family member, a close friend of a family member or even a lawyer representing a member of your family,” said Cpl. Jesse Foreman of the Oceanside RCMP. “They will advise the potential victim about an urgent situation that requires immediate funds.”
Foreman said common themes have been that the family member was arrested or got into an accident while travelling abroad. The fraudster will then claim fees are required immediately for hospital or medical expenses, or even bail.
Foreman said people can protect themselves by knowing that police, Judges or legal entities will never request money be sent through money service businesses. Never voluntarily give out a family member’s name or information to an unknown caller and always question any urgent request for money.
“When in doubt, seek the advice of friends or family,” he said. “Be skeptical, if someone is rushing you into a decision, it’s probably a poor decision to make.”
— NEWS Staff, submitted