Another grandparent was scammed in our community apparently to get a grandchild out of jail.
On Nov. 23rd, 2011, Saanich Police were contacted by a victim who had been duped. The 68 year old male, had been contacted by a ‘lawyer’ supposedly representing a granddaughter who was in custody in Quebec. One thousand dollars was wired electronically to Montreal to facilitate the release. Only after the money was sent did the victim contact family to find that the granddaughter was in Ontario and not in jail.
The investigation revealed that the same names had been used in another successful scam on the island. Again, it was confirmed to be a fraud only after the monies were sent and the victim contacted family.
Investigators feel that social media may have played a role. In this particular case the caller had the correct names for the victim and the ‘grandchild.’ This gave the fraud more legitimacy with the victim.
Some suggestions to avoid a situation like this:
– contact the family member directly or another family member who would know their whereabouts.
– take down the name, address and number of the caller. Use the internet to ascertain if the details provided are correct.
– decline to send any money electronically for any reason until it is verified.
– activate security settings on your social media accounts to avoid unwanted access.
It is suspected that an increase of these and other solicitations will be seen given the holiday season is upon us.