SCAM Alert

Sunshine Coast

2021-12-07 09:46 PST

Sunshine Coast RCMP are seeing an increase in the "emergency" scam.  Emergency scams, sometimes called "grandparent scams," prey on the willingness of an unsuspecting, worried individual to help friends and family in need.

Recently a Sechelt resident was contacted by someone saying they were the police and that her daughter in law was in jail and needed $6000.00 in bail money. 

How the Scam Works:
Emergency scams are about a family member or friend in a dire situation. You get a call, email, or social media message from someone claiming to be a family member in distress. They may say they’ve been arrested while traveling overseas, or there was an accident, medical emergency, or other calamity. They provide convincing details, such as family names and school details.

A common version is the grandparent scam, where the con artist contacts a grandparent claiming to be their grandchild and asking for money. The plea is so persuasive that the grandparent wires money to the scammer, only to find out later their family member was safe and sound all along. This scam can also work in reverse, where the "grandparent" calls their grandchild pleading for help.

Tips to Spot This Scam:
Resist the urge to act immediately, no matter how dramatic the story is. Check out the story with other family and friends, but hang up or close the message and call your loved one directly. Don’t call the phone number provided by the caller or caller ID. Ask questions that would be hard for an impostor to answer correctly.

Know what your family members are sharing online. You may not have control over your family's social media accounts, but familiarize yourself with what they are sharing online.

Don't wire any money if there is any doubt about the call. If a person does wire money and later realizes it is a fraud, the police need to be alerted.
 

Released by

Cst. Karen Whitby

Media Relations Officer
Sunshine Coast RCMP
sunshinecoast.rcmp-grc.gc.ca (English only)
5800 Teredo St. Sechelt, BC V0N 3A0
Office: 604-885-2266
Fax: 604-885-9473

Email: karen.whitby@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

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