New Westminster – On December 13th an officer responded to a call for help from a senior in the Brow of the Hill neighbourhood of New Westminster. The senior shared that she believed she had been the victim of an elaborate and professional scam. The senior shared that earlier in the evening someone claiming to be her grandson called her to say he had been arrested for having a large amount of cannabis in his vehicle and he needed a large sum of money for bail. Someone posing as a police officer then got on the line and assured the woman that if she put the cash in an envelope someone would meet her outside her residence to pick it up and her grandson would be freed from jail. The fraudster addressed this woman’s suspicions and assured her it was not a scam as her grandson was the one that called her.
Someone met the senior outside her residence to collect the cash. This suspect is described as a woman in her early twenties with light purple wavy shoulder length hair, a faded charcoal sweatshirt, patterned leggings, pink crocs, and standing 5’4” in height.
In speaking with the victim the officer learned the fraudsters used techniques that encouraged the victim to share information that was later used to manipulate her. When the victim initially answered the phone the fraudster exclaimed, “Hey grandma!” to which the victim responded with the name of her grandchild.
“It is despicable that criminals are using family bonds to manipulate seniors out of thousands of dollars,” said Media Relations Officer Sergeant Justine Thom. “We’re asking people to speak to friends and family about this incident, and to share with them the techniques the fraudsters used. Knowledge is power and we need more people to know about the scams.”
Officers are collecting evidence in an attempt to identify the suspect who met with the victim to collect the money. If the suspect description sounds like someone you know, please reach out to the New Westminster Police Department at 604-525-5411 and reference file 22-18829.
CONTACT PERSON: Hailey Finnigan