Postal worker alerts cou­ple to Grand­par­ent Scam

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Pa­trick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail

A Drumheller cou­ple nearly fell vic­tim to a scam, and are ap­pre­cia­tive of the quick think­ing by a post of­fice em­ployee who made sure they weren’t taken ad­van­tage of.

Linda Fisher told The Mail that last week, out of the blue, her home re­ceived a tele­phone call with an ur­gent mes­sage from her grand­son.

Her hus­band Jim came into the room with the phone telling her they needed to wire money to Mex­ico be­cause their grand­son was in an ac­ci­dent. The caller told them to send the funds through MoneyGram through the post of­fice.

“I phoned the post of­fice and Mike (Brown) at the Post Of­fice said ‘ask a se­cu­rity ques­tion,’” ex­plains Linda.

She handed her hus­band Jim a piece a pa­per with a ques­tion that her grand­son would know, and the caller re­mained silent. Jim then asked the caller what his brother’s name was, and the caller promptly hung up.

This scam is well known, and of­ten re­ferred to as a Grand­par­ent Scam. It tar­gets the el­derly and draws peo­ple in quickly, mak­ing them be­lieve they are do­ing the right thing to help a fam­ily mem­ber.

“I have heard of it too, but when it ac­tu­ally hits you, and you know that your grand­son could be in Mex­ico, you want to help out,” said Linda.

She is grate­ful that Brown was able to of­fer a good sug­ges­tion to test the ve­rac­ity of the caller.

Brown says they re­ceive these kinds of calls a cou­ple of times a year where they are sus­pi­cious. One man was scammed out of nearly $1,000.

“Now I tell every­body to be re­ally care­ful who you are talk­ing to,” he said. “They get older folks, and they make up a story. But this one didn’t work.”

The Cana­dian An­tifraud Cen­tre is aware of these kinds of scams. It is a place where peo­ple can learn more about what crim­i­nals are do­ing to fleece peo­ple of their hard­earned money. Those who have ex­pe­ri­enced an at­tempted fraud or have been the vic­tim, can also re­port their ex­pe­ri­ence by call­ing 1-888495-8501 or go­ing to www. an­tifraud­cen­tre.ca

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