A Nanaimo senior was scammed out of $14,000 by someone claiming to be her grandson.
According to Nanaimo RCMP, the 80-year-old victim transferred the money over a nine-day period earlier this month, believing she was helping a grandson in legal trouble.
Police say the woman was told that her grandson had been in a car crash in Montreal and was in police custody and needed $7,500 bail. A follow-up call directed her to transfer another $6,500 via courier.
The victim says she was contacted by people claiming to be her grandson, a police officer and a lawyer.
When phone calls continued, the victim became suspicious and ceased communication with the scammers.
“This was a classic situation of scammers tugging at the heart strings of the victim. They took advantage of an elderly lady and exploited it to their advantage,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, in the press release.
Nanaimo RCMP provided information about the case to police in Quebec, where the calls originated.
RCMP offered a few tips to try to help people avoid getting scammed. They say people should “resist the urge to act immediately,” and if in doubt, should end a conversation.
Police recommend asking the caller a personal question that only a real grandson or granddaughter would know, and before making any decisions, check out the story with another family member. Never send cash, gift cards or money transfers, police say.