Two scams are in the news this week: The ongoing grandparent scam and a scam involving a burn fund.
The BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund has recently been informed there is a false solicitation for funds campaign currently underway in the Kelowna area. Phone calls to residents by a man calling himself ‘Mr. McGregor’ from the Greater Victoria area has some residents questioning the legitimacy of the calls.
“We would like to advise all members of the public that the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund doesn’t participate in any type of funds solicitation through phone calls,” states Michael Hurley, President of the BCPFF Burn Fund.
“Our charity is very well known throughout our province and it is extremely unfortunate that an individual would take advantage the members of our province and our charity for their own self gain.” remarks Michael Hurley. “We highly encourage people to contact our office if they have any questions or concerns.”
The BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund would like to remind members of the public that the best way to donate to the charity is by calling the office at 604-436-5617 or visiting the website www.burnfund.org
West Kelowna- Police are warning residents of an ongoing scam recently reported in West Kelowna. The “Emergency Scam” (or sometimes referred to as the “Grandparent Scam”) has been around for years, preying mostly on the elderly.
In the typical scenario, a grandparent receives a phone call from a con-artist claiming to be one of his or her grandchildren. The caller goes on to say that they are in some kind of trouble and need money immediately. The reasons given can vary but recently the fraudster has been requesting bail money.
A typical call can go something like this:
Con-artist: Hi, Grandma/Grandpa
Con-artist: Do you know who this is?
Victims don’t verify the story until after the money has been sent as the caller specifically asks that they do not want other relatives to know what has happened by asking “Can you please help me? I’m in jail, but don’t tell dad! Please send the money ASAP.”
Wanting to help who they believe to be their grandchild, the victim sends money by a money transfer company only to confirm with family later that they had been scammed.
Variations on the scam exist but predominantly the emergency scam is directed toward Grandparents.
More information about frauds and scams can be found at www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca