Vancouver police say more seniors have been scammed out thousands of dollars in recent weeks and are asking people to remain vigilant.
In previous incidents, the suspects will convince seniors that their loved ones face jail time unless police receive bail money. The scammers will also coach the victims on how to get large sums of money from their financial institutions. Once they take out the cash, the suspects arrange for a fake courier to pick it up in person or to have it sent by mail, explains a news release.
“The fraudsters continue to pull on the heartstrings of seniors,” says VPD Cnst. Jason Doucette. “Using high-pressure tactics, the scammers convince the elderly person their loved one has been arrested and needs bail money to avoid going to jail.”
Police are also asking bank employees to keep an eye out for "unusual withdrawals" by their regular elderly clients. However, "speaking with seniors directly about these prevalent scams is the best line of defence," he adds.
"Often the scammers will convince their victims not to talk to others by suggesting there is a gag order in place, or by telling them to use a code word when they’re handing over cash.”
The Vancouver Police Department encourages anyone with information about this scam to file a report.
If it’s a crime in progress or if there is an immediate safety concern, please call 911. If the suspect has already left, please call the VPD’s non-emergency line at 604-717-3321.