Police are warning Sicamous seniors to be on their guard when answering the phone after an elderly resident reported being contacted by a scammer.
Vinet says the caller claimed to be a favourite grandson who was in some distress. This is typical approach used in what’s known as the “grandma and grandpa scam.”
Vinet says that in some cases, the caller claims to have been robbed, arrested, or in an accident and wants you to send money immediately by wire.
“In this instance, the caller became belligerent when he realized the elderly person was becoming suspicious, despite his smooth, convincing plea for financial help,” says Vinet, noting how often, the information the fraudster needs to support their false identity is provided either through an Internet website, Facebook, a family genealogy site or simply from the grandparents.
Money obtained in this manner just helps support the criminal lifestyle, adds Vinet, who warns you should automatically be suspicious of anyone asking for money.
Tips to avoid becoming a victim of such a telephone scam include: ask for a name rather than offer it; verify identity or whereabouts of the caller with family members; get a callback phone number; ask for help from a family member or a trustworthy friend; contact the parent(s) even if the caller asks you not to do so; do not discuss personal information; and do not feel pressured to send money immediately.