North Vancouver RCMP is warning the public about a scam that preys on its victim's desire to help a family member in trouble.
The ruse starts with a cold call purporting to be from a family member, police officer or lawyer, saying a loved one has been arrested and thousands of dollars in bail money is needed to bail them out.
Before the victim can start to think critically about the scenario, the caller adds more pressure, sometimes saying they won’t be allowed to make another phone call and that the well-meaning victim must act without telling anyone else about it.
Once they’ve convinced the victim to source out the bail money, they arrange for a courier to come right to their door, or come pick the cash up themselves, closing the deal on the scam.
Variations of the so-called “grandparent scam” have been around for years, with some residents being taken for thousands of dollars.
In British Columbia, anyone kept in police custody is entitled to a judicial interim release, which is handled in court.
Anyone who has been targeted by similar frauds is asked to contact the North Vancouver RCMP at 604-985-1311.
"If you get a 'bail money' scam call, don't share your personal information and don't be afraid to say no. Hang up and call your local police," said Const. Kelly McIntyre, North Vancouver RCMP spokesperson. "If you find yourself in the middle of the 'bail money' scam – you have given out your address and someone is on their way to your home – call 911."