Police are warning residents of an ongoing scam recently reported in West Kelowna.
The emergency scam, which is sometimes referred to as the grandparent scam, has been around for years, preying mostly on the elderly.
“In the typical scenario, a grandparent receives a phone call from a con-artist claiming to be one of his or her grandchildren,” said Const. Kris Clark.
“The caller goes on to say that they are in some kind of trouble and need money immediately. The reasons given can vary but recently the fraudster has been requesting bail money.”
A typical call can go something like this:
Con-artist: Hi, Grandma/Grandpa
Con-artist: Do you know who this is?
“Victims don’t verify the story until after the money has been sent as the caller specifically asks that they do not want other relatives to know what has happened by asking ‘Can you please help me? I’m in jail, but don’t tell dad! Please send the money ASAP’,” said Clark.
“Wanting to help who they believe to be their grandchild, the victim sends money by a money transfer company only to confirm with family later that they had been scammed.”
Variations on the scam exist but predominantly the emergency scam is directed toward Grandparents.
More information about frauds and scams can be found at www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca