Con artists continue to prey on West Van seniors
West Vancouver Police are investigating yet another "granny scam" after a 91-year-old woman was duped out of $2,000 by a telephone fraudster yesterday.
Investigators say the victim sent a money transfer to a Montreal address on June 29 after a man, claiming to be her son, called to say he had been in a car accident.
Cpl. Jag Johal, spokesman for the West Vancouver Police Department, said the case is one of three telephone frauds to be reported since the beginning of May.
The other two complaints, he said, targeted a 90-year-old man and a 90-year-old woman.
"In these two incidents, the scams were not successful due to the recipients being suspicious of the call," said Johal in a press release Thursday.
This is far from the first time West Van police have issued public warnings of such scams.
In the past year, police have investigated dozens of similar incidents in which victims have lost as much as $10,000. In many cases the con artist would pose as a grandchild in need of money to get out of jail or to pay for damages incurred in an accident.
Some scammers will even have a accomplice impersonate a lawyer to add credibility to their fictitious stories, Johal warned.
"Investigators believe this scam is being operated by a group in Eastern Canada and that the suspects may be obtaining personal information through Internet searches," said Johal.
In the wake of yesterday's incident, police are reminding residents to be cautious when giving out personal information over the phone and to be wary of any caller that requests a money transfer.
If you receive a phone call that seems suspicious, ask for the caller's number and then ask a family member to help you verify the caller's identity.
For more tips on how to avoid telephone scams visit www.wvpd.ca.
If you receive a suspicious call, report it to West Vancouver Police at 604-925-7300 or online at www.phonebusters.com.