An Abbotsford senior was recently bilked out of $8,000 as part of the “grandparents’ scam” that recently resurfaced in the area.
Const. Ian MacDonald said the woman received a phone call from someone purporting to be her grandson and even using the person’s actual name.
The caller said he had been involved in a car crash, but had limited time to talk and his lawyer would be calling.
A few minutes later, a caller pretending to be the lawyer told the woman that her grandson had been involved in a car accident, causing several thousand dollars in damages.
He said the grandson could be facing jail time, unless the woman paid the damages.
She was instructed to wire $4,000 to a location in Lima, Peru. A second transaction, also of $4,000, was requested and sent.
The senior was about to wire a third transaction of that amount when an employee at the wire-transfer service became concerned and asked the woman some questions.
The worker advised the woman not to send any more money and to report the matter to the police.
The Abbotsford Police Department (APD) confirmed to the woman that she had been the victim of the “grandparents’ scam.”
In early September, the APD reported the scam had resurfaced in the city, after a senior man was defrauded of $2,500.
The scam has been widely reported across Canada and has cropped up in Abbotsford on occasion.
In 2010, four local women lost between $2,000 and $4,800 each, and a man was scammed out of $9,000 the following year.
The culprits often use social media, or other online information, to obtain personal details about people so the calls sound authentic.
The APD urges people to avoid sending any money until details can be double-checked with family members.