Scam arrives on Saanich senior’s doorstep

Pair of fraudulent officers threaten to arrest 90-year-old woman

A pair of scam artists posing as police threatened to arrest a Saanich senior.

Saanich Police are issuing a warning to the public after this new variation on the emergency scam arrived on the doorstep of a 90-year-old Saanich woman.

The woman received a call on July 11 from a man who told the victim her son was in trouble with police and would be arrested if she did not comply with their demands. Following a brief conversation the woman hung up the phone on the caller. She called the number back, where it was answered by a woman who transferred her to a line that was never answered.

About 20 minutes later two men showed up at her door.

“The men identified themselves as RCMP officers and were wearing clothes similar to the RCMP serge,” said Sgt. Jereme Leslie with Saanich Police. “The suspects told the potential victim they were going to arrest her for not complying with their demands.”

The woman demanded ID from the suspects, and closed the door on them when they were unable to produce any.

Leslie said there are several variations of the scam, sometimes called the Grandparent Scam, that typically include a call from police stating their family members are in trouble.

“In both cases the scammer goes on to say that they/their family members are in some kind of trouble and need money immediately. The victim then sends money, via a money transfer company, and doesn’t verify information until after the money has been sent,” said Leslie.

The suspects are described as an Asian man, about 30 years old, five-foot-nine or 10, with a thinner build and wearing police-style pants with a bronze stripe on the legs and jacket similar to an RCMP serge. The other suspect is a white male in his 40s with a thinner build, also wearing police-style pants and a red jacket.

Anyone with information about these suspects is asked to call the Saanich Police at 250-475-4321 or Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, where you can remain anonymous.

For information about various scams and tips on how to protect yourself, visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at http://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/.

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