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Saanich police are warning the general public of what they’re calling a “brazen” grandparent rip-off that sees fraudsters present up on seniors’ doorsteps to gather money.

Police on Wednesday mentioned three incidents had occurred within the final two days. The victims, who have been tricked into pondering a relative was in bother, have been duped out of greater than $27,000 mixed.

“Up to now, we’ve had three separate incidents reported. Two of the three have resulted in lack of cash,” in keeping with Insp. Damien Kowalewich in an interview with CHEK Information.

“One was over $20,000, the opposite was over $7,000, and within the third case, the [victim] contacted somebody for recommendation and declined to offer cash.”

Police say this rip-off entails a caller or one that targets an older particular person and claims to be a relative in bother. The scammer asks the sufferer for cash to assist them resolve the difficulty.

Kowalewich says oftentimes the scammers say they’re a niece or nephew, so name one other member of the family to confirm the claims are, in actual fact, true.

“The storyline can vary anyplace from they’re arrested to they’re caught on the airport. Actually something they might provide you with to tug at your heartstrings,” he mentioned.

‘Exhibiting as much as accumulate the cash’

However in current incidents, scammers have been exhibiting up on doorsteps. That is uncommon, says Kowalewich, as a result of these scams are normally finished over the cellphone or on-line.

“This might be categorized extra as a brazen grandparent rip-off. We don’t sometimes see a human being exhibiting as much as accumulate the cash,” famous Kowalewich.

“Law enforcement officials who I’ve spoken with…say they’re seeing this on the mainland, the in-person pickup. It seems to be like this has moved over to Vancouver Island,” he added.

“We wish folks to know that you simply shouldn’t be giving folks cash once they present up at your home saying a member of the family is in bother.”

On Wednesday, police described the girl who picked up the cash within the two incidents.

They are saying she’s Caucasian and in her 20s with lengthy blonde hair. She was seen in a 2023 White Kia Sportage SUV related to a rental firm and with B.C. plate TR906N.

“She got here again a number of occasions for various denominations of money, totalling over $20,000,” mentioned Kowalewich. “She’s figuring out herself as a courier, on this case, to select up the cash. We’re working exhausting to establish her and transfer ahead with prison expenses.”

‘Name somebody you belief’

The incidents occurred simply days earlier than Fraud Prevention Month (March), say police.

Kowalewich is asking the general public to “decelerate” if being requested handy over cash as a result of “scammers speak quick. They use elaborate scams telling folks they’re a authorities company or police.”

He reiterates, “Take it from us, decelerate. If you happen to’re uncomfortable making the choice, name somebody you belief. Name an actual relative, name somebody for recommendation. You shouldn’t be giving folks cash once they present up at your home saying a member of the family is in bother.”

Detectives from Saanich Police’s Main Crime Unit are at present investigating.

Anybody affected by this rip-off or with details about the suspect described is requested to name police at 250-475-4321.

Extra details about the grandparent rip-off is here.

A 2023 White Kia Sportage SUV is pictured.

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