West Kelowna grandma scammed out of $1,500

Seniors are often targeted as scammers prey on their benevolence.
Image Credit: iStockphoto.com

An elderly West Kelowna woman was swindled out of $1,500 by a man claiming to be her grandson earlier this week.

Police say the 84-year-old received a phone call from a private number and the man told her he'd been arrested for drunk driving and needed money for bail so he could get out of jail. He told her to wire the money through Western Union to his "lawyer" Marcotte Gaetan who would make arrangements.

"When the woman sent the money, the man even called back to say thank you," said Cst. Kris Clark. "Unfortunately, Marcotte Gaetan is a fictitious name and the man claiming to be her grandson was simply a fraud artist trying to scam her out of her cash."

Clark says seniors are typically targeted by this scam, dubbed the grandparent scam, in order to prey on their benevolence.






Clark says anyone who thinks they're being scammed can ask themselves the following questions:

  • S-Safe—If you give in to one of these facades, would you be worse off for having done it?
  • C-Credible—Does the person who is trying to convince you have any credibility that can be verified?
  • A-Aggressive—Is the scammer using an aggressive tactic, or language, that requires an immediate or imperative response?
  • M-Motive—Is their motive to deprive you of money or assets such as banking information, with the promise of greater reward?

If the answer is yes to any of the above questions, or if you have any doubt, Clark says don't fall for it. If it's a phone call, hang up. If a letter, throw it away. If in person, kindly tell them you're not interested.

For more information on frauds or to report, please go to www.antifraudcentre.ca.

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