The so-called grandson scam has emerged in Nanaimo, where an 80-year-old woman lost $14,000 to the ruse.
Nanaimo RCMP said the case happened over a period of nine days this month, with the woman being told her grandson was in a motor-vehicle incident in Montreal, had been taken into police custody and needed money for bail.
Men posing as the grandson, the grandson’s lawyer and a police officer were involved.
After first hearing from the phoney grandson, the victim was told to call his “lawyer” and directed to transfer $7,500 to an address in Montreal. The “lawyer” called back the next day and said another $6,500 was needed..
The woman eventually became suspicious and stopped all communication. Family members called police when they found out what had happened.
The police jurisdiction in Quebec where the calls originated from has been informed and an investigation is underway.
“This was a classic situation of scammers tugging at the heart strings of the victim,” said Nanaimo RCMP Const. Gary O’Brien. “They took advantage of an elderly lady and exploited it to their advantage.
Police advise people to resist the urge to act immediately in such situations and end the conversation if there are any doubts. Ask a personal question that only a grandson or granddaughter could answer, and never send cash, gift cards or money transfers.