RCMP are urging the general public to remain extra vigilant after back to back reports of the Emergency Scam, otherwise known as the Grandparent Scam, occurred in the B.C. Interior.
On Nov. 25, an Interior resident was targeted by a suspected telephone scammer who posed as a close friend. The fraudster, who seemed to be panicked, claimed he was in jail and needed bail money. The suspect further added that he had been in an accident and had been drinking. He requested that the victim e-transfer $2,500 to the man’s lawyer, who supposedly practiced law in the BC Lower Mainland.
Unfortunately, the victim wired the funds electronically after they received a second call from a person who identified themselves as the friend’s legal counsel.
On that same day, police responded to another report of a resident targeted in an emergency scam. This resident reported an anonymous call from someone posing as his grandson, claiming he was in jail and in need of money following a drunk driving accident. Fortunately the resident called the RCMP non-emergency line and a police dispatcher advised him not to send any money as this was a scam. Police then personally contact the man’s grandson and ensured his well-being.
Whether the scammer is successful in obtaining funds, or not, these sorts of calls can cause deep concern and be stressful for most. These fraudsters rely on emotional pleas for help and take advantage of a parent or grandparent’s concern for a child or even a close friends concern for a companion and exploit it to their advantage.
• Watch out for urgent pleas that play on your emotions – If you have any doubts, trust your instincts and end the conversation;
• Talk to other family members – if you receive a call or contact from someone claiming a family member or friend is in trouble, reach out to another family member or friend to confirm the situation;
• Never send cash, gift cards or money transfers as payment to an unknown recipient.
Learn more at the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website: https://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/scams-fraudes/index-eng.htm to learn more about this and other scams.