Postal worker alerts couple to Grandparent Scam
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