Leduc RCMP Once Again Warn Residents of Phone Scam

  • Jan. 18, 2011 3:00 p.m.

Pipestone Flyer

Vol. 15 Issue 3, Leduc-Wetaskiwin Pipestone Flyer

The Leduc RCMP recently received information from an elderly women in the Calmar area who is the victim of a phone scam.  The women involved was deceitfully swindled out of approximately $20,000.

A male called the women’s residence and when she answered the phone, he said, “Grandma?”  The women unknowingly spoke to the male caller for several minutes believing he was her grandson.

The male told the women that he had been involved in an accident in Montreal, was arrest for Impaired Driving and required money to get out of jail and to get his vehicle fixed.

The women was asked to withdrawal money from her account and send money via Western Union.  The women, who believed she was helping her grandson, did as she was asked.  The male posing as the women’s grandson promised that he would call her later to make arrangements to pay her back.

Over a short time with no word from her “grandson”, the women began speaking to other family members.  It was at this time the women learned that it was not her grandson that had called and that she was a victim of a fraud.  The incident was then reported to police. 

Phone Scams are not new crime however criminals will change their approach with victims in efforts to gain advantage over them and get their hands on their hard earned money.

Many phone scams or other frauds that originate outside of Canada maybe investigated for intelligence purposes however, charges cannot be laid.  While fraud offences that occur within Canada are thoroughly investigated, it is not always possible to locate a suspect and impossible to determine who will next fall victim to a scam.

Leduc RCMP would like to share a few preventative tips with residents in efforts to increase awareness and reduce the number of fraud victims in our community.

  • Beware of anyone asking you to send money.  Before sending money to anyone, confirm with other family members whether or not a loved one is in trouble and requires assistance…even if the caller makes you promise not to tell anyone.
  • Watch out for callers promoting prizes or free trips!  There is always hidden fees involved and most times after the fees are uncovered, it is more than what the trip would have cost in the first place.
  • Be suspicious of “no-risk” claims or promises of huge financial gain!  There is no such thing as something for nothing!!!  If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.
  • Be aware of individuals or firms that operate outside of Canada!  If they are fraudulent, they cannot be prosecuted.  This includes callers from the U.S. promoting within Canada.
  • Resist the pressure to act immediately! Do not be impulsive!  Many homeowners who feel pressured on the phone often feel that they owe the caller a legitimate reason for not accepting information or the invitation to participate in whatever is being presented.  You are in control of who you talk to and who you provide information to.  If you feel pressured, SAY NOTHING AND SIMPLY HANG UP YOUR PHONE!
  • Do NOT give out personal information over the phone unless you initiate the call!  This includes name, address, marital status or personal history.  Fraudsters and Con artists have ways of extracting information from victims with casual conversation.  Most times victims don’t even recall offering the information.
  • Before investing your money, get a second opinion!  Speak with a spouse, a trusted friend, a financial advisor or a lawyer.
  • Consult with the Better Business Bureau, a financial advisor or your lawyer regarding any large investments! This may save you significant financial grief.
  • Never give your credit card number out over the phone unless you are ABSOLUTELY certain the caller is legitimate!
  • Be Careful when someone offers to deliver a product to your home!  By telling them when it would be convenient, you may be providing them with times when your house will be vacant.

If you suspect that a call you have received is a scam, or if you feel that you are a victim of a fraud, please report it to the police immediately.

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