Emergency Scam With A Concerning Variation

Saanich, BC – Saanich Police have been contacted by a 90 year old Saanich woman who has reported a concerning variation of the Emergency Scam.

The “Emergency Scam” (or sometimes referred to as the “Grandparent Scam”) has been around for years, however this variation is concerning.  In the typical scenario, a grandparent receives a phone call from a con-artist claiming to be one of his or her grandchildren. Variations of the scam exist such as “The Police” calling stating their family members are in trouble etc. In both cases the scammer goes on to say that they/their family members are in some kind of trouble and need money immediately. The victim then sends money, via a money transfer company, and doesn’t verify information until after the money has been sent.

On the morning of July 11th the potential victim received a call from an unknown phone number. A man, on the other end of the line, told her they needed money to deal with her son, who was in trouble with the police, and if she didn’t comply with the demands she would be arrested. A short conversation occurred however the potential victim hung up the phone. As the potential victim was concerned for her son she called the number back where a woman answered and transferred her to a line that was never answered.

About 20 minutes later, after the potential victim called the unknown phone number back, two unknown men arrived at her front door. The men identified themselves as RCMP Officers and were wearing clothes similar to the RCMP serge.  The suspects told the potential victim they were going to arrest her for not complying with their demands. The potential victim then demanded ID from the two suspects however they were unable to produce any. The door was then closed on the suspects.

The suspects are described as follows:

Suspect One:

Asian man, around 30 years old, 5’9”-5’10” tall, thinner build, wearing police style pants with a bronze stripe on the legs and a red jacket similar to a RCMP serge.

Suspect two:

White man, possibly in his 40’s, with a medium build also wearing police style pants with a bronze stripe on the legs and a red jacket similar to a RCMP serge.

If you have any information about these suspects please call the Saanich Police at 250-475-4321 or, to remain anonymous, call Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers at 1 (800) 222-8477.

For information about various scams and tips on how to protect yourself visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/.

Sgt. Jereme Leslie

SPD File 18-16731 refers

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