North Vancouver RCMP are once more warning the public about a recurring scam that tricks seniors into thinking a loved ones has been arrested, and then convinces them to hand over thousands of dollars for legal fees.
It’s not uncommon for scammers to target the elderly by contacting them by mail, telephone, or online, says Constable Mansoor Sahak of the North Vancouver RCMP. “What’s different and concerning is that fraudsters are now showing up at the victims’ doorsteps to collect cash. It’s brazen, and we’re concerned about peoples’ safety.”
The most recent rash of scams began on September 8th, when a woman in her 80s received a call from a man who claimed to be Cpl. Jefferson from the North Vancouver RCMP. The suspect claimed that the woman’s granddaughter was arrested by police and needed $9000 to be released on bail.
The fraudster then came to the victims’ home and picked up the money. In this incident, the suspect is described as a Caucasian woman between the ages of 20-30, 5’10 tall, long brown hair, slim build, wearing gold hoop earrings, a white top, with tattoos on her left forearm, and having an accent.
Later that same day, a women in her 70s received a similar call telling her that her granddaughter was in jail, and needed $9000 for bail. Fortunately, that woman attended the North Vancouver detachment to pay the bail, where she was informed by staff she was being scammed.
“We’re asking the community to help inform vulnerable friends and family members about these scams, and to help us protect them from being victimized,” said Cst. Sahak.
Police are warning anyone who receives suspicious communications, and especially in this scam, a telephone call from someone claiming to be law enforcement asking for money, not to give money to a stranger, and to call local police.
How to protect yourself:
Know that the RCMP will never contact you by phone and arrange for court officials or lawyers to pick up money from your home
Understand that any call you receive informing you that a family member is in legal trouble and immediately needs money from you is almost certainly a scam
Be aware that scammers can disguise caller ID numbers, and have been known to make it appear as a government agency, police detachment, or another trusted phone number
NOTE: The North Shore Daily Post welcomes your opinions and comments. We do not allow personal attacks, offensive language or unsubstantiated allegations. We reserve the right to edit comments for length, style, legality and taste and reproduce them in print, electronic or otherwise. For further information, please contact the editor or publisher, or see our Terms and Conditions.