Police and BC Crime Stoppers are raising the alarm about resurgent phone scams that target seniors.
Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers Executive Director Linda Annis told Global News, there have been around 20 recent cases of this type of fraud in Vancouver.
“Seniors will get a call that their grandson or granddaughter has been involved in a serious car accident and they need some bail money, quickly,” Annis said.
“The person will offer to handle the payment on their behalf. The seniors are also told not to tell anybody because if they do their grandchild will be in even more trouble.”
Crime Stoppers acknowledges these crimes could be underreported as it can be embarrassing for seniors to come forward.
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“When it happens, people are often very embarrassed and they don’t want to tell anybody. They feel foolish,” Annis said. “But please, come forward and tell the police or crime stoppers. If we don’t know, we can’t do anything about it.”
The BC RCMP Federal Policing and Prevention and Engagement team has launched a proactive community outreach campaign on the issue.
“With numerous other forms of scams targeting seniors, the FPPE team is continuously working to connect with seniors and members of the community at large to create awareness and provide strategies for protecting oneself against financial loss,” Cpl. Arash Seyed said, in a release.
There has been a rise in financial crime complaints, according to police.
“It’s evident that criminals continue targeting B.C. seniors through several forms of scams such as the emergency/grandparent, extortion, bank investigator, and prize scams,” Seyed said.
The RCMP and BC Crime Stoppers hope more education will mitigate against these types of crimes but acknowledge fraud schemes are ever-changing and can be difficult for seniors to spot.
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