A Shuswap couple reported having fallen victim to a family emergency telephone scam. (File image)

Shuswap couple fall victim to family emergency scam

Person claiming to be couple’s son said he was injured and in jail

A Shuswap resident reached out to police after falling victim to scam phone call from someone claiming to be a loved one in trouble.

Chase RCMP Sgt. Barry Kennedy said the detachment was contacted by the victim on Nov. 24. She explained to police how earlier that day her husband received a phone call from a person who was crying. Pretending to be the couple’s son, the caller said he’d been in a bad accident in Mexico, was injured and in jail, and that his lawyer would be calling.

“Although her husband noticed that the voice didn’t sound like their son, he assumed it was because the caller claimed that he was injured and was crying,” said Kennedy. “The ‘lawyer’ phoned, stating that $3,000 needed to be sent as soon as possible – to have their son released immediately from jail. Otherwise he would be held for a month.”

The ‘lawyer’ guided the couple through the process of sending money by MoneyGram at the post office.

Kennedy said the couple’s son had been in Mexico recently but, at the time of the phone call, they weren’t aware he’d already returned home.

Read more: Romance, fraud make up key ingredients in latest Shuswap scam

Read more: Salmon Arm resident targeted in phone scam demanding Bitcoin payment

“The complainant realized too late that they were victims of a scam,” said Kennedy.

Family emergency scams such as these are known to police. Those who receive a call from someone claiming to be a family member of friend in desperate of money is encourage to do the following:

• Resist the urge to act immediately, no matter how dramatic the story is;

• Verify the person’s identity by asking questions that a stranger couldn’t possibly answer;
• Call a phone number for your family member or friend that you know to be genuine;

• Check the story out with someone else in your family or circle of friends, even if you’ve been told to keep it a secret;

• And don’t wire money, or send a check or money order by overnight delivery or courier.

If you think you’ve received a scam call, contact law enforcement authorities or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

RCMPScams

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Vernon Jubilee Hospital’s annual Light a Bulb campaign raised $340,000 for hospital equipment. (VJHF photo)
Vernon hospital campaign lights up with $340K

Community comes through for annual Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation Light a Bulb campaign

Crews are repairing a water main break along 34th Street in Vernon Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021. (City of Vernon photo)
Water service down for Vernon residents along 34th Street

Crews are repairing a water main break and expect service to be down for 2-3 hours

Vernon has agreed to a goose cull to control the over-populated invasive species making a muck of area parks and beaches. (Morning Star file photo)
Vernon pulls trigger on goose cull

City asking neighbours to also help control over-population of geese

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP impounded a car after the driver was caught doing 113 km/hr in a 50 zone. (RCMP image)
Vernon car impounded after going 113km/hr in a 50km/hr zone

RCMP caught speeder near Village Green Mall at 5 a.m.

(Pixabay)
‘Roadmap out of COVID-19’: Innovate BC’s program helping businesses recover

CEO Raghwa Gopal said the tech sector is here to help brick and mortar businesses

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

A woman wearing a protective face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Five big lessons experts say Canada should learn from COVID-19:

‘What should be done to reduce the harms the next time a virus arises?’ Disease control experts answer

A Vancouver Police Department patch is seen on an officer’s uniform as she makes a phone call. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver man calls 911 to report his own stabbing, leading to arrest: police

Officers located the suspect a few blocks away. He was holding a bloody knife.

Kelowna seen from the top of Knox Mountain. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News file)
Homeownership unattainable for many Kelowna residents

Single-person and single-parent households often have limited options when it comes to housing

Penticton fire crews quickly put out a small blaze at a home on Duncan Ave. E Monday night. (Mike Biden photo)
South Okanagan house fire sends one to hospital

The fire at the Duncan Place home was cooking related

A Kelowna cannabis manufacturer has acquired another cannabis-based firm. (Black Press Media File)
Kelowna cannabis company acquires edibles manufacturer for $24.9 million

The Valens Company has acquired LYF Food Technologies

LaRae Richards loads an order for deliver via Uber Eats Wednesday afternoon at Red Onion Burgers in Mountlake Terrace on May 17, 2017. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Uber Eats comes to Kelowna

There are more than 60 businesses on the online delivery platform

Most Read