'Grandparents' scam' returns to Abbotsford
The "grandparents' scam" has resurfaced in Abbotsford, resulting in a 73-year-old man losing $9,000 this month.
Const. Ian MacDonald said the Abbotsford Police Department has also received several emails from people concerned that their elderly parents, some in care homes, have received calls from the culprits.
The scam usually involves a caller posing as a lawyer, saying he is phoning on behalf of a relative who is in trouble with the law and requires bail money or cash for legal fees.
In some cases, the caller then transfers the phone to another person, who poses as the relative. They often relate names or personal information to the victim; information that they have obtained by scouring obituaries or social networking sites.
They then ask for money to be wired to them immediately. In the recent case, the victim sent amounts of $4,000 and $5,000 in separate transactions.
The scam was active in Abbotsford last summer, resulting in four local women losing from about $2,000 to $4,800 each. They were all instructed to wire money through Western Union to Montreal.
The women discovered they had been defrauded after speaking with the family members they thought they had been helping.
MacDonald said police did not hear anything about the scam operating in Abbotsford again until recently.
He reminds people to be cautious about the personal information they post online and to avoid sending any money until details can be double-checked with family members.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Abbotsford Police Department at 604-859-5225.
Earlier this week, four men and three women were charged with fraud-related offences after operating the scam in Mississauga and Oakville, Ontario. It is estimated they bilked their victims out of $3 million.