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Suspect in Kelowna grandparent scam spotted, police looking to ID

Click to play video: 'Kelowna senior scammed out of thousands of dollars'
Kelowna senior scammed out of thousands of dollars
RCMP in the Okanagan is reminding the public to be vigilant after an elderly Kelowna woman was scammed out of thousands of dollars. It involved the so-called grandparent scam and as Klaudia Van Emmerik reports, what's unsual in this case is that scammer came to collect the money in person. – Mar 6, 2024

Police in Kelowna, B.C., are releasing a photo of a woman they say is a suspect in a grandparent scam in an effort to track her down.

In a press release issued Tuesday morning, RCMP said the suspect was last seen leaving a building in the 1300 block of Ellis Street in downtown Kelowna after meeting with an older woman to pick up money.

“The elderly victim reports that she was contacted by someone via phone identifying themselves as  Sgt. Ashley Olsen and stated that her grandson had been arrested in a police incident and that money was needed to pay a bond immediately,” RCMP said.

“She was instructed to withdraw a large sum of money from her bank and that someone would come by to collect it adding that it would be refunded within 24 hours. The caller stated this was being done ‘for her convenience’ toned with a sense of urgency.”

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Click to play video: '‘Talk to your loved ones’: Grandparent scam targets unsuspecting Calgarians'
‘Talk to your loved ones’: Grandparent scam targets unsuspecting Calgarians

At approximately 11:30 a.m. on Feb. 9, a suspect met with the older woman in the front lobby of her residence and the money for the so-called bond was exchanged.

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The suspect phoned the victim a second time hours later, providing additional circumstances to her grandson’s arrest and demanding more money to secure his release from custody. As the victim tried to make another withdrawal, a bank employee recognized what was happening and informed the victim she was being scammed, which ultimately prevented the additional loss of funds.

The suspect is described as 25 to 30 years old, with long, dark-coloured hair and strong eyebrows. At the time she was wearing black leggings, black boots and a denim-coloured shirt.

The Kelowna RCMP is asking for the public’s assistance in identifying a suspect in a recent ‘grandparent’ scam.
The Kelowna RCMP is asking for the public’s assistance in identifying a suspect in a recent ‘grandparent’ scam. COURTESY: KELOWNA RCMP

“Police are reminding the public that these types of frauds continue to occur and to be vigilant. When confronted with a similar scam, reach out to family immediately to confirm the legitimacy of their claim and then phone the police if there is still some concern. Police encourage the public to report all attempted frauds to the Canadian Anti-fraud Centre at 1-800-495-8501 as they link a number of crimes together in Canada and abroad helping with prevention and awareness efforts.”

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If you recognize this individual, you are asked to contact the Kelowna RCMP detachment at 250-762-3300 and give the file number 2024-7013. You can also make an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at http://www.crimestoppers.net.

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