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Scammer turns up at Saanich senior’s doorstep

Phone scam gets personal as suspected scammer picks up cash
(Black Press Media file photo)

As Fraud Prevention Month approaches Saanich police find themselves reminding residents to be vigilant after a series of grandparent scams hit residents.

Officers are aware of three scams over two days leaving victims out more than $27,000.

“We’re proactive with our messaging but it is just still happening. We’ve never seen it like this. No scams are off limit, scammers will fake being anyone,” Saanich Inspector Damian Kowalewich told Black Press Media.

Fraudsters target seniors by calling and pretending to be a family member in distress, the police or a justice official claiming that a loved one or grandchild is in trouble, and needs money immediately.

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In the three cases in the last two days, one resident is out more than $20,000 and another out $7,000 while a third avoided loss by calling a friend for advice.

The scams started with a traditional phone call, but instead of asking for a bank transfer or other mode, an individual arrived to pick up cash.

“In some cases, the suspect has come back several times to get more money,” Saanich Inspector Damian Kowalewich told Black Press Media.

The suspect is described as:

• Caucasian woman

• In her 20s

• Long blonde hair.

The vehicle involved is a rental car described as a 2023 White Kia Sportage SUV with B.C. licence plate TR906N.

Anyone who receives a similar call should not send money but contact the grandchild or another family member to verify information.

“Slow down, phone a family member of a friend you trust,” Kowalewich said.

Anyone with information on the suspect or scam is asked to call Saanich police at 250-475-4321.

READ ALSO: West Shore walkers duped with fake gold, sad stories

A similar scam resurfaced earlier this month on the West Shore where RCMP were called after someone was hit by the bail money scam.

The resident reported receiving phone calls from people claiming to be a police officer and a family member. The fraudsters claimed that the family member was in a car accident, had been arrested and needed bail money to get out of jail.

Police remind residents that the courts won’t ask for cash to bail out someone in custody and to never send cash, cryptocurrency or any other funds to unknown persons, unverified addresses or bank accounts.

Anyone who has been scammed should contact local police and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501. Visit for more information on various scams and how to stay safe.

Christine van Reeuwyk

About the Author: Christine van Reeuwyk

I'm dedicated to serving the community of Oak Bay as a senior journalist with the Greater Victoria news team.
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