‘Grandparent scam’ nets $4,000 from Kamloops senior

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By Tim Petruk - Kamloops This Week
Published: January 17, 2011 3:00 PM
Updated: January 18, 2011 12:38 PM                                     <Return to News>  

An elderly Kamloops woman is out $4,000 after falling victim to the so-called “grandparent scam”.

Kamloops RCMP Const. Rose Dunsmore said the woman, in her 80s, called police on Friday, Jan. 14, to report she had been swindled.

The senior told Mounties she received a call from someone posing as her granddaughter, claiming she needed money after being involved in a car accident.
The supposed granddaughter asked the senior to wire cash to an unidentified man in Eastern Canada.

After sending the money, the victim called her actual granddaughter to ask if the money had arrived. The granddaughter told her grandmother she had never asked for cash.
The victim then called police.

Dunsmore said the investigation is ongoing.
“We are certainly looking into this a bit further,” she said, calling this particular scam “extremely prevalent.”

Police attempted to have the $4,000 returned to the victim, but it had already been picked up by the male, despite the fact he didn’t have the proper documentation.

Dunsmore said the incident should serve as a reminder to local seniors to be cautious when dealing with people over the phone.

“This is something as simple as someone getting a phone call and saying, ‘Hi, it’s me, grandma,’” she said.

“That’s enough to open a line of dialogue. It doesn’t take much, especially for elderly individuals.”

Dunsmore said scammers will often play off the emotions of their victims.
“I think, in this instance, it tugged at her heartstrings,” she said.
“She did make follow-up, but it was after she’d already sent the cash.”

Anyone who thinks they might be the target of phone or email fraudsters is asked to call the Kamloops RCMP’s scam line at 250-828-3266 or email silk@rcmp-grc.gc.ca.

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