Skip to content

North Van senior bilked out of $9K in 'grandparent' scam

Another elderly resident narrowly avoided being taken in by the same con artist
Seniors on the North Shore are being targeted by new twists on the ‘grandparent scam,' police warn. | mgs/Moment/Getty Images

A North Vancouver senior has been bilked out of $9,000 after falling for the latest version of the ‘grandparent scam.’

Con artists called the local resident on Tuesday, telling them their grandson was in trouble and needed a $9,000 cash bond to be released from jail, said Const. Mansoor Sahak of the North Vancouver RCMP.

After the senior went to the bank to withdraw the money, the scammer showed up at the home and collected the cash.

Only afterwards did the senior realize the ruse was a con and called police.

A short while earlier, another senior narrowly avoided being taken in by the same scam after receiving a similar call. In that case, however, the woman became suspicious, hung up and called police right away, said Sahak.

Police believe the incidents are linked. “We believe it’s the same suspect,” he said.

The suspect is described as an Asian man wearing a light shirt, jeans and sunglasses. He was driving a small white vehicle with a red stripe.

Sahak said police aren’t exactly sure how the victims are being chosen, but “obviously their target is elderly people.”

Police believe one of the reasons the con artists ask for an amount under $10,000 is that typically cash transactions of more than $10,000 must automatically be reported by banks.

Sahak said police are hoping that all residents with older family members will make them aware of the scam, in the hopes of avoiding future victims.

Versions of the ‘grandparent scam’ have been around for years, and prey on a senior’s desire to help a family member.

Last year, an 80-year-old West Vancouver resident narrowly avoided being taken in after receiving a call from a man pretending to be a police officer, who told the man his grandson had been arrested and needed bail money. He convinced the senior to withdraw $16,000 from the bank, but when the scammer arrived wearing plain clothes with no police ID, the senior became suspicious.

[email protected]