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Police in Vancouver have raised the alarm about a new scam in which criminals target seniors in their homes.
The fraudsters first call seniors and convince them that a loved one has been arrested.
They then tell them that thousands of dollars are needed to get them out of jail.
The Vancouver Police Department said it is investigating two instances of the scam that occurred on Jan. 12.
One involved a couple in their 70s being told a relative had been in a car accident and needed $8,000 to get out of jail.
In the other case, a 75-year-old woman was told her grandson had been in a car accident and needed $9,000 to make bail.
In both instances, the scammer went to the home of the victim and picked up the money
“It’s not uncommon for scammers to target the elderly by contacting them by mail, telephone, or online,” says Cst. Tania Visintin.
“What’s different and concerning is that fraudsters are now showing up at the victims’ doorsteps to collect cash. It’s brazen, and we’re concerned about peoples’ safety.”
Cst. Vistintin added that police are not sure whether the suspect is acting alone or as part of a group.
“We’re reaching out to other police agencies to determine how far reaching this scam is,” she said.
“Until we know more, we urge everyone to be cautious about strangers who ask for money.”
Police have also released a video showing a person of interest.
They urged anyone with information to contact investigators at 604-717-0503.