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Scam suspect arrested after attempt to bilk West Van senior out of $15K

Would-be con artist met by police when he showed up to pick up cash
WV Police cruiser
A scam suspect was arrested when he showed up to collect cash from an senior in West Vancouver, on Tuesday (Feb. 15).

A man who figured he was about to pocket $15,000 scammed from an elderly woman instead found himself arrested this week after the senior turned the tables on him.

The 84-year-old woman had received a disturbing phone call Monday (Feb. 14) from someone identifying himself as a police officer. The caller told the senior that her friend had been arrested and needed $15,000 in bail money from her. He added he could come to the house the next day to pick up the cash.

But the women sensed that wasn’t right and called her son to seek advice. The son then called the West Vancouver Police Department, which worked with the woman and her son to arrange a “pickup” of the money on Feb. 15.

But when the scammer showed up to collect the cash at an address in West Vancouver’s Caulfeild neighbourhood, he was met by multiple police officers, happy to escort him to a real police detachment.

Charges are being recommended against a 31-year-old Vancouver man, who was released pending further investigation.

“This woman did absolutely the right thing by telling her son about the strange phone call,” said Const. Kevin Goodmurphy, spokesman for the West Vancouver police. “Rest assured that our investigators will do everything they can to ensure this man is held accountable for his despicable actions. Preying on vulnerable seniors in our community will not be tolerated.”

Goodmurphy added anyone who receives a suspicious phone call from someone claiming to be in trouble and in need of money should contact police immediately.

Three weeks ago, another  West Vancouver senior was defrauded of $5,000 in a similar scam known as the “Grandparent Scam.”

In that case, the 82-year-old victim received a phone call from a man claiming to be his grandson in need of bail money.

Then a fake "lawyer" showed up at the man's house to take $5,000 in cash.

A number of similar scams have been reported recently to police across the Lower Mainland.