100 Mile RCMP are investigating a fraud involving two unknown suspects who scammed a 96-year-old woman out of $6,000.
The two suspects had contacted the woman in Vancouver, saying her grandson was in police custody in connection with a motor vehicle collision in which a child had been injured. One of the men pretended to be the woman’s grandson, while the other acted as the grandson’s lawyer. The grandmother ended up contacting the complainant, who lives in 100 Mile House, and she was put in contact with her “son and his lawyer.”
The complainant was told they needed more bail money as the child involved in the accident had died of his injuries. The woman ended up sending $6,000 through a banking transfer to a bank account in another province. After the transfer, believing that her son had now been released, she contacted her son regarding the accident to discover that he had never been in a car crash and had not been in jail.
The suspects continued their attempts to get more money, but quickly stopped once the woman told them she had caught on to their scam.
“These situations are, unfortunately, common in our area,” Staff-Sgt. Svend Nielsen said. “This particular method is to present a significant other, usually a grandchild, as being in trouble with the law or kidnapped. The suspect(s) end up making demands for cash payment either through bank transfers or other security transfers. These are usually routed immediately through multiple bank accounts, mostly international ones, and the money is long gone and in the hands of the suspects. Investigations prove extremely difficult to accomplish with not much success on most occasions.”
100 Mile House RCMP suggests people confronted with a similar situation or circumstance should hang up and contact another family member, the person who is allegedly in trouble or a family friend they trust.
Do not send money and contact the police, Nielsen said. “RCMP will quickly be able to assist you in determining the wellness of the person involved and/or if they are actually in custody in situations like this one described above,” he said.
The woman wished for this information to be shared in order to educate the public that these events are occurring and to be mindful of such approaches by unknown persons. Anyone seeking more information on these or other world-wide frauds that occur can go to the Canadian Anti-fraud Centre online via search engine, www.seniorsfirstbc.ca or www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca for more information.