News

Grandparent scam hits Okanagan again

An 84-year-old West Kelowna woman is feeling the sting of losing $1,500 earlier this week to a scam well-known for targeting seniors.

On Tuesday, the woman received a phone call from a private number. A man claiming to be her grandson said he had been arrested for impaired driving and needed bail money so he could be released from jail.

He asked her to wire the money via Western Union to his lawyer Marcotte Gaetan so that he could take care of the arrangements. When the woman sent the money, the man even called back to say thank you.

Unfortunately, Marcotte Gaetan is a fictitious name and the man claiming to be her grandson was simply a fraud artist scamming her out of her money.

"Seniors are typically targeted by this scam, dubbed the grandparent scam, in order to prey on their benevolence," said Kris Clark, RCMP spokesman, in a release issued Friday afternoon.

Police are asking that the public ask a few simple questions to identify possible cons such as this one. They ask individuals to question:

S-Safety. If you give in to one of these facades, would you be worse off for having done it?

C-Credibility. Does the person who is trying to convince you have any credibility that can be verified?

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

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

Police suggest that if it is a phone call, one should hang up before becoming a victim or, If a letter, throw it away. In person, one should kindly tell the person one is not interested and turn the person away.

For more information on frauds or to report, please go to www.antifraudcentre.ca

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