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Vernon, B.C. senior falls victim to ‘incredibly concerning’ scam

Scam artists use phones, emails and scams to target seniors. Global News

An elderly Vernon, B.C., woman was lured into an investment scam and conned out of thousands of dollars, RCMP said.

The Coldstream resident, who is in her 80s, was contacted by telephone and offered an investment opportunity promising a large return.

“The fraudster went as far as arranging to meet with the victim to pick up payment,” RCMP said in a press release.

“Believing the opportunity was legitimate and too good to pass up, the victim accompanied the individual to the bank and withdrew and willingly turned over several thousands of dollars. Any further loss was prevented when a family member discovered the transaction after it had taken place and contacted police.”

Read more: How a 93-year-old B.C. senior lost $8,900 after falling victim to ‘grandson scam’

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RCMP pointed out that this type of fraud is not new, but the extent this person went to, which included showing up at an elderly person’s doorstep, is “incredibly concerning.”

“Unfortunately, many frauds and scams are targeted at senior citizens who may be more vulnerable as they may be lonely, willing to listen, and more trusting than younger people. Talk to your elderly family members and help make them aware of common scams and what to look out for,” RCMP said.

“By helping them to recognize the warning signs, they are more likely to reach out for more information and in a better position to protect themselves from becoming a victim.”

Read more: WestJet Vacations customer endures long battle getting refund after COVID cancellation

Seniors are reminded to never give credit card, banking, or other personal information out over the phone and to be wary of opportunities that seem to good to be true.

Government officials will never ask for payment over the phone, RCMP said, and any investment/financial opportunities should be discussed with a trusted family member.

“If you discover that fraud has occurred, or suspect you or a loved one are being targeted by a fraud, and you have not provided any personal information or lost any money, you can report the activity to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre,” RCMP said.

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