After a Kelowna resident recently fell victim to a scam, costing them a large amount of money, local police are urging the public to be aware.
In September, the local answered a fraudulent phone call from Quebec. The person on the other end of the line claimed to be a lawyer, saying the victim’s son had been in a motor vehicle collision. Someone could be heard crying in the background as the ‘lawyer’ told the victim to send bail money on their son’s behalf to get him out of police custody.
The victim then went to a bank and deposited a large sum of money into a numbered bank account, provided by the lawyer, who then requested more funds for damages caused to a photo radar device during the collision.
The Kelowna resident again followed instructions and sent more money.
Later that day, they spoke with their son and confirmed he was safe and sound.
This Emergency Scam, otherwise known as the Grandparent Scam, has resulted in a warning being issued by Kelowna police. RCMP say the fraud investigation is ongoing.
“This was an unfortunate situation of scammers using an emotional plea to take advantage of a parent’s concern for their child and exploit it to their advantage. The Kelowna RCMP has since received further reports from citizens who received calls of similar nature who took the precautionary measure to call and confirm the call was a scam,” said Kelowna RCMP Const. Solana Paré.
RCMP encourage locals to follow these steps if confronted with this, or similar scams:
- Watch out for urgent pleas that play on your emotions. If you have any doubts, simply end the conversation;
- If you have received a call or contact from someone claiming a family member is in trouble, talk to other family members to confirm the situation;
- Never send cash, gift cards or money transfers as payment to an unknown recipient.
Click here to visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website to learn more about this and other scams.
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