Scammed man shells out thousands to fake niece
Published Tuesday, January 31, 2012 4:59PM PST
An elderly North Vancouver man fell victim to a fraudster who managed to sap $6,000 from his savings after claiming to be his niece.
Police say the man made three separate money transfers to his so-called troubled niece over three days. However, when she didn't called back a week later he spoke with family members only to realize he had been duped in one of Canada's top phone scams.
On Jan. 22, the woman posing as his niece called and said she crashed a car while driving drunk after her friend's wedding in Montreal.
The fraudster claimed she was arrested for impaired driving, but the charges could be dropped if her uncle sent $2,500 to cover damages to the other car.
Panicked, the elderly man sent the money to an account of the fraudster.
The following day, the woman requested $2,000 to pay the lawyer's fees and again he sent the money.
On the third day, the woman said she was stranded at the airport and needed $1,500 to buy new airline tickets because she and her friend had missed their flights home.
A week later, the man informed North Vancouver RCMP that he had sent $6,000 in total to an unknown caller.
"Once again this most unfortunate incident speaks to the level that criminals will go to pray on the goodwill and intentions of unsuspecting seniors. This senior truly thought he was helping out his ‘niece' by sending her money," Cpl. Richard De Jong said.
B.C. RCMP advises the public that if someone calls claiming to be family to ask the caller's name rather than question who it may be. They also said to confirm with other family members the whereabouts of the caller and not to feel pressured to send money immediately.
For more information on this scam and others, the RCMP advises public to visit website.