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Vancouver police renew warning after more seniors hit with bail scam

Vancouver police have renewed a warning about a popular scam targeting seniors in the region.
Vancouver police have renewed a warning about a popular scam targeting seniors in the region. File / Getty Images

Vancouver police have renewed a warning about a scam targeting the region’s seniors, after they say fraudsters bilked new victims out of tens of thousands of dollars.

The scam, which has been previously reported in Vancouver and several neighbouring municipalities, involves the suspect pretending to be a police officer or criminal justice official.

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“The fraudsters continue to pull on the heartstrings of seniors,” Const. Jason Doucette said in a media release Monday.

“Using high pressure tactics, the scammers convince the elderly person their loved one has been arrested and needs bail money to avoid going to jail.”

Click to play video: 'VPD release picture of suspect wanted in seniors scam'
VPD release picture of suspect wanted in seniors scam

Police say the scammers coach their victims to withdraw large sums of money from the bank. That cash is then either picked up by a fake courier or the victim is directed to send it by mail.

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Police have previously said the scammers use social media to research and learn specific details about their victims.

Investigators say the victims are often convinced not to talk about what is going on, after being told there is a “gag order” on the case or by telling them to use a code word when handing the cash over.

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They are asking bank workers to be particularly vigilant with seniors who are withdrawing large amounts of cash, and with the public to talk to seniors in their life about how to identify the scam.

Anyone with information about the scam is asked to contact their local police.

Anyone who witnesses a crime in progress should call 911.

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