Has someone called you claiming to be police asking for money to bail a family member? The best tip: call your local police.
A senior in Port Moody nearly fell victim to a phone scammer who asked him to withdraw money to get a family member out of jail.
The price: $12,000.
Port Moody police (PMPD) are warning the public about this latest scam attempt as the fraudster also claimed to be an officer from the local department.
“Police will not call family members asking for bail money,” states PMPD spokesperson Const. Sam Zacharias in a news release today (April 22), noting the best thing to do is phone local police to be sure.
The incident took place on Thursday (April 21) when an elderly man received a phone call and the person on the other side claimed to be local police.
They said one of his family members needed $12,000 in bail money after being taken into custody.
The man withdrew the money from his bank account, but then became concerned before calling the suspect back to arrange the transfer.
“Thankfully this elderly man had the wherewithal to contact police prior to handing over this cash to the would-be fraudster,” adds Zacharais, “however, often times these incidents do not end on a positive note.”
After confirming it was a scam, a PMPD officer escorted the senior back to his bank to redeposit the money.
Anyone with more information or is concerned about a potential scam is encouraged to call Port Moody police at 604-461-3456.
The following is information about signs of a scam:
- Unsolicited phone call, email, text or letter
- Urgent or threatening language
- Request for personal information such as name, address, birthdate, social insurance number, credit card or banking information
- Serious unfounded claims such as “You will be arrested,” “A warrant has been issued for your arrest,” “You will be deported” or anything that threatens your well being
- Demand for payment by e-transfer, pre-paid credit cards, gift cards or online currency (e.g., Bitcoin)
Whether you made a payment or not, report scams to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or www.antifraudcentre.ca. If you made a payment, contact your financial institution that transferred the money, and report the incident to your local police.
For more information on avoiding scams and cases of fraud, you’re encouraged to visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre’s website.