**** RCMP Media Release
Police warn seniors of ongoing scam and seek help identifying individuals
The RCMP/HRP Integrated Criminal Investigation Division is warning the public about numerous scams targeting seniors. Police are also looking to identify a person who may be connected to the fraudulent activity.
With these scams, victims are contacted by fraudsters pretending to be a relative in need of money; often, the story is that the family member has been arrested and requires bail.
The call is then usually taken over by another person pretending to be in a position of authority, such as a police officer or a lawyer, instructing the victim to provide this bail. The fraudsters then send a ‘bail bondsman’ to the victim’s address to collect the cash.
Police are aware of several incidents in the last several days where each victim was scammed out of between $5,000 and $10,000. Photos of the persons collecting the fraudulent cash and the vehicle possibly a 2019 Toyota Corolla they were operating in one of the incidents is attached.
Police want to highlight that authorities in Canada do not solicit release of someone for money. Authorities in Canada do not come to your door for cash. Police are reminding the public these fraudsters are very good at what they do and are believable and to protect themselves against these frauds in the following ways:
- Fraudsters create a sense of urgency – slow things down reach out to other relatives and review the situation together, contact authorities if need be.
- If you still believe the caller then contact the authority represented through their legitimate contact source eg. website or phonebook that you have located and not provided to you by the contactor.
- Attempt to contact the family member in question.
- Do not send money, gift cards, Bitcoin or anything else of value in “urgent situations”.
- Don’t drop your guard because the number on your caller ID looks familiar or legitimate. Scammers can spoof tel #’s and make it appear they are calling from a trusted source.
- If you have a feeling that something is not right, it is best to trust your gut and stop communicating with that person. If in doubt, hang up or delete and do not continue communication.
Anyone who thinks they could be a victim, knows someone who could be a victim, or has information on these incidents, is asked to contact police at 902-490-5020. The scams can also be reported to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.