The Nova Scotia RCMP is warning the public about “grandparent scams” targeting senior citizens.
In a release, police say they have received numerous fraud complaints since last year, where victims were contacted “in a perceived urgent situation and instructed to provide money to alleviate a bad circumstance of a loved one.” The fake bad circumstance can include a car accident or legal issues.
Examples include the loved one supposedly being in jail or a car accident. While the scam was previously targeted in the Halifax area earlier this year, it is now being seen in rural parts of Nova Scotia.
One recent example includes a senior couple in the Pictou area who lost $22,500 to fraudsters over the course of three days.
“The victim was instructed to withdraw cash from their bank and once completed a ‘courier’ or ‘bondsman’ would come by their residence and retrieve the cash,” the release said.
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The RCMP noted that despite fraudsters being “good at what they do” and “believable,” authorities in Canada do not solicit the release of someone for money.
Police issued the following advice for people to protect themselves against fraud:
Slow down and review the situation with other relatives or loved ones;Never offer information to callers;Ask the caller personal questions that only an actual family member or loved one would know;Attempt to contact the family member in question;Refuse to send money in “urgent situations;”Contact the represented authority through a legitimate source, rather than the contact information provided by the caller;Stop communicating with the caller if they have a feeling that something is not right.
Anyone who believes they are a victim of a scam should contact police at 902-490-5020 and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.
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