Police are warning seniors to be wary of fraudsters who claim on the telephone to be a family member in trouble and in desperate need of money.
Last week, a St. Laurent woman in her eighties lost $2,000 when a man claiming to be her grandson called her home asking for money while another elderly St. Laurent women would have fallen for the same phone trick had a savvy bank teller not intervened. Both incidents took place January 9.
"We don’t know how but these fraudsters knew the correct names of the women’s grandsons," said Montreal police community relations officer Pierre Fauchier at Station 7 in St. Laurent. "It made the women vulnerable."
On instructions of the caller, Fauchier said, the first woman went to her bank to withdraw $2,000 for a man the man purporting on the telephone to be her son said would pass by her home later. However, in that case, Fauchier said, the bank teller suspected something was wrong and, called police.
In the second case, Fauchier said, the woman wasn’t so fortunate. After she received the call, she made her way to the bank, withdrew $2,000 and gave it to a man in the lobby of her apartment building.
"Only after did she realize something was wrong," Fauchier said.
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