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LETTER: When it comes to scams, we can’t be aware enough

Chilliwack’s Lucill Gainer shares her experience with a scammer who impersonated her grandson

I read about Bria being scammed and know how she feels.

RELATED: Harrison woman warning others after losing $3,000 in job scam

Two weeks ago I was caught in a scam — as good as I thought I was at avoiding such.

On Thursday I got a call from the police saying my grandson had been arrested and he wanted to talk to me. He sounded upset and like he had a bit of a cold when we spoke. He asked me if I would be able to bail him out.

I talked to the officer and he said bail was $9,000.

He told me that my grandson was riding in a car with a co-worker to get a COVID test when they were stopped and a large quantity of drugs was found in the trunk. They tested his blood and he was drug-free and they found none of his fingerprints in incriminating areas so they would release him on bail.

I asked if under the circumstances of his innocence if that bail could not be reduced.

The officer said that he was gathering all the information and was going to present it to — I can remember if he said judge or prosecutor — and would get back to me.

Sometime later he phoned again and he had managed to get the bail reduced to $4,500. He thought he might not even have to go to court he would know better by tomorrow.

I was instructed to get cash and wrap it well in bubble wrap and send it to an address in Montreal by UPS. I was not to say it was cash but to say it was important legal documents that had to be there by noon on Friday, and gave me a number to call back with the tracking number for verification when it was done.

I as able to gather the money together and do as told. I asked the clerk at UPS if it would get there in time for sure . He said normally they could guarantee it but with Covid he could not.

When I returned home I phoned the number and gave the information and asked if I could speak to my grandson. He said if they verified the money they would be able to release him and would drive him home and would patch me through to the car to talk to him.

I said I would call him when he got home and he said I would be unable to do that as he would have to remain incommunicado until they were able to pick up the owner of the car, who was the brother of the driver.

They said do not try to contact him or discuss the case with anyone until they cleared things up, which they thought would be by Saturday afternoon.

Long story short, my grandson phoned me Friday evening and I come to realize everything I was told never happened!

I immediately phoned the RCMP and was assisted by Const. McGregor (I hope I spelled that right) who was very helpful and took action right away.

I also phoned UPS and found that the delivery may not have been made and he thought it had been checked into the warehouse for the weekend. I begged them to not allow it to be picked up. The police also phoned UPS and were told the same but they could not be positive until Monday and he also told them not to deliver it.

I phoned on Monday and they still had my package and would return it to me. A week later I received my package back with great relief as I had been living with such a horrible feeling that I would not see the money again and I had borrowed it from places it needed to be returned to.

I am very grateful that I was lucky. If my grandson had not phoned me, I would probably not have recovered the money.

It all sounded so legit. It sounded enough like my grandson with a bit of a cold and stressed. While talking to him when they were supposedly driving him home, I heard what sounded like police radio calls in the back ground.

We can not be aware enough. The scamming is getting better and better!

– Lucille Gainer, Chilliwack

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