Editor’s note: March is Fraud Awareness Month. The Vernon Community Policing Office is alerting area residents to a series of scams that persist throughout the region. Today, community policing looks at the Grandparent or, Emergency, scam.
Morning Star Staff
“Grandma, Grandpa, is that you? I am in so much trouble” says the panicked voice at the other end of the phone.
Many have fallen victim to the grandparent scam.
The scammer preys upon the relative knowing they will quickly bail out a family member in trouble.
The scenario usually starts out with a plea for financial help.
The scammer then leads the victim to volunteer personal information by asking a lot of questions and tells the victim not tell anyone else in the family.
Next the “grandchild” asks the grandparent to wire the money through a money transfer company.
Sadly, the victim usually calls other family members after they have sent the money.
What can you do? Remember, the scammer is playing on your heart strings. They know you want to help your family.
1: Ask the person questions only a real grandchild could answer.
2: Don’t give personal information to the caller.
3: Think. Does the story make sense?
4: Verify the information with other family member before you send the cash.
5: You can always hang-up.
Steps to take if you do find that you have fallen victim to a scammer:
1: Contact the RCMP.
2: Contact your bank and let them know.
3: Place a fraud alert with the two national credit bureaus — Equifax Canada at 1-800-465-8501 and TransUnion at 1-877-525 3823.
4: Contact the Canadian Antifraud Centre, 1-888-495-8501,www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca.
The Vernon Community Policing Office will hold a frauds, cons and scams workshop March 25 at 9 a.m. at the Schubert Centre.
Call the Community Policing Office at 250-550-7840 to register.
For further information contact Rachael Zubick, co-ordinator, Vernon Community Policing, 250-550-7840.