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30 scam attempts in one day target West Vancouver grandparents

No one fell victim to the 'grandparent scam' this time, but seniors have lost thousands of dollars in the past
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West Vancouver Police are warning seniors to be wary after dozens of people in one day were contacted by scammers. | Bloom Productions/DigitalVision/Getty Images

Every grandparent loves a call from their grandchildren, but 30 times in a day might be a little much – especially when it’s a scam.

West Vancouver police are warning the public after receiving roughly 30 reports of attempted frauds using the “grandparent scam” in one day.

The ruse, in which a stranger cold calls a senior and pretends to be their grandson or granddaughter claiming to be in urgent need of bail money, has been around for years.

The calls on Wednesday came with a sob story about the young person being arrested for impaired driving and causing a collision. Often, the callers said they would require $7,000 in bail money, which a bail bondsman or lawyer would pick up later in the day.

In British Columbia, anyone kept in police custody is entitled to a judicial interim release, which is handled in court, not over the phone or with in-person cash pickups.

Variations on the scam include the caller pretending to be a lawyer or police officer. They often pressure the victim into acting quickly to withdraw the cash and make it available for pick-up without telling anyone.

In the past, victims on the North Shore have been taken for thousands of dollars in the scam.

“Fortunately, we have had no reports of this scam being successful, but we are aware that the District of West Vancouver appears to be being specifically targeted today,” a release from police stated.

If you have any concerns about this type of fraud, please contact the West Vancouver Police at 604-925-7300.

brichter@nsnews.com
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