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White Rock RCMP officer thwarts ‘grandchild scam’ in progress

Three arrested, more than $19,000 recovered during Feb. 7 incident
Thousands of dollars has been recovered by White Rock RCMP after an officer intercepted a scam in progress in February. (White Rock RCMP photo)

White Rock RCMP are once again warning Semiahmoo Peninsula residents to be wary of “the grandchild scam” after an officer intercepted just such a scheme in progress last month.

On Feb. 7, a White Rock RCMP officer was fueling a police vehicle at the end of a shift when they noticed what a March 3 news release described as “a suspicious meeting” between the occupants of two vehicles.

“When one of the individuals noticed the police officer, the physical signs of nervousness became very apparent,” the release continues. “The officer approached the group and observed evidence consistent with illegally obtained money in an amount of over $19,000.”

From there, the officer “leaped from one clue to the next” until realizing that the situation was part of a suspected grandparent fraud, where money couriers were passing off “nefariously obtained cash” to their boss. The officer was able to collect information, and connect with the victims – who were in the South Surrey area – “who will soon be getting their money back.”

Three people were arrested at the scene. Investigation into the alleged fraud continues.

According to police, the grandchild scam involves an individual claiming to be a police officer, lawyer or the victim’s grandchild calling with a request for money to help with bail or some other embarrassing financial crisis.

The victims want to help their family member and in many cases overlook red flags that under normal circumstances they would catch, when not worried.

“These scammers are very convincing. If anyone asks you for money outside of your normal financial routine, be skeptical” said White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls.

“Before you give any information, call your local police to conduct an assessment. Any request by a caller to not call police or tell anyone is a scam.”

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