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Scammers target Port Coquitlam agency serving seniors
An organization supporting isolated seniors has been flooded with calls since a scam email was was sent by unknown hackers to the agency's contacts this week asking for money.
People are being told not to respond to the email, which has the subject How Are You Doing??? and asks for a favor on behalf of executive director Sue Uremovich. Respondents get another email asking for $2,450.
"It says thank you, I'm in Kharkov, the capital of Ukraine, and the cash machine's not working," said Marg Gordon, the incoming program manager for Community Volunteer Services for Seniors.
She said some seniors did reply to the email because of concern for Uremovich, and then contacted CVSS. The email was sent out to hundreds of people, including Tri-City News reporters, at about at 5 a.m. Tuesday morning and is totally fake.
In fact, Uremovich, who finishes up her seven-year job at the Port Coquitlam- based agency next week, has been home sick this week.
Gordon admitted to being shocked and surprised to have to deal with such an odd — and potentially costly scam — in her first few days on the job. She expects it's the work of criminals seeking to rip off seniors and will be letting the RCMP know of the scam.
At first glance, the email looks authentic because it contains Uremovich's current position, as well as the address of the Wilson Avenue facility. However, the phone number is wrong.
Meanwhile, the agency is contacting anyone who might have been in email contact with Uremovich, and has also changed its email address and provider.
CVSS provides support to frail and elderly seniors with grocery shopping, visiting, reassurance calls and other services.