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Port Moody police offer fraud workshop as 'grandparent' scam resurfaces

Don't fall victim to an emergency scam. Port Moody police are hosting a fraud awareness workshop on Feb. 28 to raise awareness about the different type of scams that are currently circulating.
Emergency scams targeting the elderly are resurfacing in Port Moody, according to police.

Port Moody police are reporting a rise in emergency scams — sometimes called "grandparent scams" — that are spreadig across Canada.

Emergency scams use urgency and the manipulation of emotions to extort money from victims.

Port Moody police recently reported on Twitter that they've seen an increase in scams targeting the elderly, and are recommending families talk to their loved one about this scam after a local senior nearly lost $9,000.

"Police will not call asking for bail money," Port Moody police said in a Tweet.

According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, over $322,000 was lost in B.C. last year due to these types of scams.

In these scams, fraudsters cold call seniors, on landline phones, claiming to be a grandchild, family member, law enforcement officer or lawyer calling on behalf of their loved one.

They'll say that the person's loved one was involved in an emergency situation, such as a collision, or were charged by law enforcement, are in legal peril or sick or injured.

"They demand the senior provide payment immediately for supposed bail, legal fees, fines or other amounts "owed" to stop the family member from going to jail or to get them released from custody," the CAFC states.

Once the scam is in motion, the fraudsters isolate the victims by informing them that there is a court-imposed gag order, and they're forbidden from discussing the matter.

The victims are told to go to their financial institution to withdraw the requested amount in cash or pay via cryptocurrency.

Raising awareness is key to stopping these scams, according to the CFAC.

In Port Moody, police are hosting a fraud prevention awareness workshop on Feb. 28.

Staff Sgt. Brad Sheridan of PMPD will provide information about different types of fraud and how to prevent it.

The free workshop will take place from 7-8 p.m. on Feb. 28 at the Port Moody Recreation Complex. Registration is available on the city's website.