Scammers using social media to gain information to defraud Vancouver seniors, police say | #socialmedia


A Kerrisdale woman in her 90s gave a fake courier $12,000 cash thinking it was being used to bail her grandson out of jail

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Scammers are using social media to gather family information which they are then using to defraud seniors in Vancouver, police said on Thursday.

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Vancouver Police Department spokesman Sgt. Steve Addison said there had been five reports so far this week from older people who had been scammed.

The common theme in all the scams is that the fraudsters pose as police officers and tell the victims that their young relatives have been arrested and that bail money is needed to have them released.

In one case, a Kerrisdale woman in her 90s was called on Wednesday morning by two men – one claimed to be a police officer and the other her grandson. They convinced her to pay $12,000 to bail out the grandson on a pot charge, sending a courier to the home to collect the cash.

In another case a man claiming to be a police officer called an elderly couple living in the West End and told them their son had been arrested for drink driving. A fake officer then went to their home and collected $10,000 for false bail.

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Fortunately, one potential victim – a 74-year-old man from Renfrew Heights – realized he was being scammed by a person wanting $11,000 to bail out a relative and called police.

“We believe there are a number of scammers who are working together, and likely using social media to mine personal details about their victims,” Addison said.

“The scammers often know the names of the victims’ family members, and in one recent case knew that a victim’s relative was on vacation in another country. Often the scammers will convince their victims not to talk to others by suggesting there is a gag order in place, or by telling them to use a code word when they’re handing over cash.”

dcarrigg@postmedia.com



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