A Canada Post employee’s keen eye may have saved a Qualicum Beach senior thousands of dollars.
According to police, a 75-year-old woman wired approximately $8,000 to fraud artists claiming to be lawyers and insurance agents representing the victim’s son.
“She was out around $8,000 and when she came in (to the post office) again to make another transaction a post person said ‘Hold on, you should contact police,'” Oceanside RCMP Cpl. Jesse Foreman told The NEWS.
The Canada Post employee noticed “suspicious money transfers” and immediately stopped the victim.
Police are investigating the incident, commonly known as the Family Emergency Scam.
Foreman explains the scam is 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 who will advise the potential victim about an “urgent situation” that requires immediate funds.
He said “common themes” have been that the family member was arrested or got into an accident while traveling abroad and noted the fraudster will then claim fees are required immediately for hospital or medical expenses, or even bail.
“Protect yourself by never voluntarily giving out a family member’s name or information to an unknown caller and always question any urgent request for money,” said Foreman. “When in doubt please seek the advice of friends or family.”
Since 2009, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) has received 17,132 emergency scam complaints were received accounting for more than $24 million dollars in reported losses. The average loss per victim was $3,743.07.
Of the 17,132 complaints, there were 11,889 emergency scam occurrences reported by Canadians.