A 73 year old Saanich resident recently fell victim to an apparent fraud that occurred over the telephone. The grandmother was contacted by phone and believed that the caller was one of her grandchildren.
Almost $5000 was transferred by this female via a money transfer service. Unfortunately, the exchanged money is most likely not recoverable.
The following is a typical “script” that may be used by those that are perpetrating these types of crimes. (some of the content and names have been changed)
Caller: “Hi Grandma.”
Granparent: “Oh John you sound like you have a cold.”
Caller: “Grandma this is not John.”
Grandparent: “Oh Dan you don’t sound very well.”
Caller: “Ya I have a bit of a cold.” The male caller then proceeds to tell the grandparent that he had been driving a friend home who was intoxicated and that he had gotten into an accident. He himself had one glass of wine and is now at the police station. He needs $2250 and his lawyer will be calling her in a few minutes to explain things. He pleads with the grandparent not to tell his parents because he is really embarrassed.
The grandparent hangs up and, shortly thereafter, someone identifying themselves as a lawyer phones. The laywer explains that the money is needed for bail and to pay for the damages to the other vehicle but all will be fine.
The grandparent, concerned for the well being of the grandchild, offers to write a cheque and to drop it off. The Lawyer convinces the grandparent to send the money using a wire transfer service, such as Western Union.
The grandparent makes arrangements and wires the first amount of money as directed.
Upon returning home, the grandparent then receives another phone call from her grandchild stating that the lawyer needs to talk further. It is explained that the other people in the car that the grandchild hit hit, usually from a State in the U.S., were thinking of suing and the grandchild and his lawyer needed an extra $2492 to cover some of the injuries. The grandparent may be told by the caller that they would be repaid in the coming weeks, sometimes with the “grandchild” making an offer to come over with the money and a bottle of wine as a thank you.
The grandparent arranges for a second transfer of money and wires it off.
In many cases, the grandparent will await for contact from their grandchild, or make inquiries with family, only to determine that they have been tricked.
This is just one example of how a caller can convince someone that they are in need of help. All too often, the victims of these types of scams send off the money prior to confirming the information that is being given to them.
In relation to the above noted example, it would be very uncommon for someone who is in police custody to require for money to be transferred.
It is strongly suggested that the information being shared by anyone soliciting money via the phone be confirmed through a reputable source such as a trusted famliy member or the police, prior to making any transfers of money.
Anyone who has fallen victim to this type of crime and has not reported the incident to the police are encouraged to do so.
Sgt. Steve Eassie #158