RCMP detachments across the Fraser Valley are investigating multiple reports of local seniors falling victim to bail phone scams.
Multiple victims received phone calls from people posing as police officers requesting bail money for a loved one. The scammers call people advising their loved one is in custody and need bail money to be released. The fraudsters then tell the victims to transfer money or to meet to receive the “bail money.”
This bail scam has been detected in Chilliwack and communities throughout the Lower Mainland, including Agassiz-Harrison. Agassiz RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Mike Sargent said there have been at least two incidents in the past week, one on Saturday, Feb. 11, in Agassiz and another on Wednesday, Feb. 15, in Harrison Hot Springs.
Sargent said in one of the incidents, the would-be fraudster posed as a loved one who was arrested, needing bail money, while in the other incident, the scammer posed as a close relative that had been involved in a car accident and needed money.
““There has been a significant increase in the number of these incidents occurring within our jurisdiction,” Sargent said. “Police are urging the public to be extra cautious when receiving a call of this nature.”
The RCMP reminds the public that legitimate police will never solicit funds over the phone. If you do receive a call like this, do not provide any information or money to the caller. Hang up immediately and contact your local RCMP detachment. Once you have reported it to your local police, you may also contact the Canadian Anti Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or online at antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca.
Last year, the Anti-Fraud Centre received more than 90,000 reports of fraud; more than 56,000, resulting in a loss of $530 million.
”It’s important for everyone to be aware of these scams so that they don’t fall victim to these fraudsters, said Upper Fraser Valley Regional Detachment (UFVRD) RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Krista Vrolyk. “Many frauds go unreported to police as victims often feel ashamed or embarrassed. It is important for anyone who has fallen victim to report the fraud to police. That way, we can investigate to identify suspects and lay criminal charges and prevent others from falling prey.”
For more information about this scam and other fraud schemes, visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre’s website at antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca. The RCMP encourage Agassiz-Harrison residents to report these calls or other incidents of fraud by calling 604-796-2211.