Nanaimo (September 22, 2020) – The Nanaimo RCMP announced that a local 80-year-old lost $14,000 in connection with a grandson scam in early September. The scammers led her to believe, she was helping her grandson getting out of jail after he was supposedly involved in a car accident in Montreal. After she had sent the first batch of money, the phone calls continued over the course of nine days. The Mounties recommended to never send cash, gift cards, or money transfers to an unknown address.
The Nanaimo RCMP warned senior residents against grandson scams after a local woman lost $14,000 to phone scammers ‘tugging at the heart strings of the victim.’ According to the press release, none of the money transferred has been recovered.
The notorious grandson scam
Family members of an 80-year-old Nanaimo senior contacted the local RCMP detachment after they found out that their mother had fallen victim to a phone scam. They reported that the woman was called multiple times by phone in early September over the course of nine days by scammers who convinced her that she was helping her grandson getting out of jail.
At least three people were involved in the scam: one pretended to be her grandson, one posed as a police officer, and the other one claimed to be her grandson’s lawyer. They told her that her grandson had been in a car accident in Montreal and that he was currently in police custody. At first, the scammers asked her to send $7,500 to pay for bail.
‘After initially hearing from her alleged grandson about his ordeal, she was directed to call the lawyer and was told to transfer the $7500 via Purolator to an address in Montreal,’ read the Mountie’s press release. ‘The lawyer called the next day and this time, stated an additional $6500 was needed.’ They also told her she could not tell his mother about the situation. She complied and send the money. After that, the phone calls continued until September 9 as she became suspicious and leery of the situation and stopped all communication.
RCMP warned seniors against phone scams
After all, the Nanaimo senior lost $14,000 to the grandson scam. Police said none of the money transferred has been recovered. The officials said that they informed the police jurisdiction in Quebec where the phone calls originated from and an investigation has been launched.
‘Nanaimo residents be advised – the notorious Grandson scam has claimed another victim,’ the Mounties warned. ‘This was a classic situation of scammers tugging at the heart strings of the victim. They took advantage of an elderly lady and exploited it to their advantage,’ said Constable Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.
The Mounties recommended people to resist the urge to act immediately when confronted with this type of scam and to end the conversation when in doubt. Furthermore, they advised verifying the caller’s identity by asking the caller a personal question that only he or she would be able to answer. Then, before making any decisions, people are urged to check the story out with a family member or friend, or call the local police agency, and finally to never send cash, gift cards, or money transfers.
Marina Burghard writes for Canadian Fraud News about fraud-related cases, whistleblower, jurisdiction, identity theft, consumer protection, etc. – essentially about scams and how to protect yourself against this kind of fraudulent criminal behavior. She holds a Master’s degree in Political Science where her interest in criminology grew. Besides fraud, Marina’s scientific interest lies in terrorism, extremism and how to deal with it as a society.