Marteny: Hard luck hoax aimed at seniors

Police are again warning the public, especially seniors, to be aware of a people who have been door-knocking and scamming residents for money recently.

One incident involved a plea for money because of a vehicle breakdown and a promise to pay the money back. The victim did not fall for it.

A previous incident saw the suspect telling the victim that he was the victim’s neighbor’s son-in-law and that he (the suspect) had paid the neighbor’s alarm repair bill but still owed the alarm company more money. The suspect asked the victim for money, stating the “in-laws” (victim’s neighbours) weren’t around, and promised to pay the money back. Once again, the victim saw through the ruse and refused.

Both of these scams were directed at seniors.  In both cases, a black early 1990s Pathfinder was involved and police are following up this lead. A suspect description was given of a male in his early to mid-30s, with short brown hair and wearing a T-shirt and shorts.

Do not fall victim to persons who give you any kind of hard luck or convoluted story that ends up with them wanting your money. There are ample resources available for those who really need help.

Call the RCMP at 250-762-3300 if you are approached for money in a similar scenario. Scammers will continue to sell their deceit as long as people are willing to buy it.

RCMP Const. Steve Holmes, Const. Ann Donnelly and Const. Carl Stene from the Kelowna RCMP Detachment and Seniors Consulting have partnered to speak with groups that want to learn more about fraud aimed at seniors. These presentations will assist people living in gated seniors’ communities, supportive housing residences, families of seniors and service organizations.

The presentation will include an overview of various fraud schemes, how to identify them, what to do about it and how to notify the police.  For the public’s safety people have to be familiar with how fraud works.  Any group that is interested in hearing the presentation needs to contact me and I will book a date for it.

Any individual wanting to hear this valuable information can attend one of the following one-hour scheduled presentations.

• Aug. 31 at 10:30 a.m. at Missionwood Supportive Housing

• Aug. 31st at 1:30 p.m. at Village at Smith Creek Supportive Housing Residence

• Sept. 1 at 10:30 a.m. at Mission Villas Supportive Housing Residence

• Sept. 1 at 1:30 p.m. at Village at Mill Creek Supportive Housing Residence

Remember the acronym SCAM:

S: Safe. If you give in to one of these frauds, would you be worse off for having done it?

C: Credible. Does the person, who is trying to convince you have any credibility that can be verified?

A: Aggressive. Is the scammer using an aggressive tactic, or language, that requires an immediate or imperative response?

M: Motive. Is their motive to deprive you of money or assets (banking information), with a promise of reward?

Sharen Marteny is a services consultant for seniors in Kelowna.



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