A Shuswap couple reported having fallen victim to a family emergency telephone scam. (File image)

Shuswap couple fall victim to family emergency scam

Person claiming to be couple’s son said he was injured and in jail

A Shuswap resident reached out to police after falling victim to scam phone call from someone claiming to be a loved one in trouble.

Chase RCMP Sgt. Barry Kennedy said the detachment was contacted by the victim on Nov. 24. She explained to police how earlier that day her husband received a phone call from a person who was crying. Pretending to be the couple’s son, the caller said he’d been in a bad accident in Mexico, was injured and in jail, and that his lawyer would be calling.

“Although her husband noticed that the voice didn’t sound like their son, he assumed it was because the caller claimed that he was injured and was crying,” said Kennedy. “The ‘lawyer’ phoned, stating that $3,000 needed to be sent as soon as possible – to have their son released immediately from jail. Otherwise he would be held for a month.”

The ‘lawyer’ guided the couple through the process of sending money by MoneyGram at the post office.

Kennedy said the couple’s son had been in Mexico recently but, at the time of the phone call, they weren’t aware he’d already returned home.

Read more: Romance, fraud make up key ingredients in latest Shuswap scam

Read more: Salmon Arm resident targeted in phone scam demanding Bitcoin payment

“The complainant realized too late that they were victims of a scam,” said Kennedy.

Family emergency scams such as these are known to police. Those who receive a call from someone claiming to be a family member of friend in desperate of money is encourage to do the following:

• Resist the urge to act immediately, no matter how dramatic the story is;

• Verify the person’s identity by asking questions that a stranger couldn’t possibly answer;
• Call a phone number for your family member or friend that you know to be genuine;

• Check the story out with someone else in your family or circle of friends, even if you’ve been told to keep it a secret;

• And don’t wire money, or send a check or money order by overnight delivery or courier.

If you think you’ve received a scam call, contact law enforcement authorities or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

RCMPScams

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Downtown Revelstoke. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
COVID-19 holds steady in Revelstoke at 16 new cases

The numbers are from Jan. 10 to 16

The Stoked Cubs U11 girls hockey team is the first girls team in Revelstoke in a long time. (Submitted)
Revelstoke’s girls hockey team skating towards $100,000 competition

The U11 team pitched support for the food bank in a submission to the Good Deed’s Cup

Calls for potential overdoses in B.C. spiked in 2020, especially in the Okanagan - Shuswap. Pictured above is a BCEHS re-enactment of paramedics attending an overdose. (BCHES)
Overdose calls spike in 2020 across the Okanagan – Shuswap

Stats show every major community in Okanagan - Shuswap increased in calls for potential overdoses

The BC SPCA is adapting its fundraising after cancelling events due to COVID-19 restrictions. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
BC SPCA gets creative with fundraising as pandemic continues

The non-profit’s in-person fundraising events all had to be cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

Interior Health has declared the Cariboo Chilcotin a community cluster. (Angie Mindus photo)
Interior Health declares Cariboo Chilcotin region a COVID-19 cluster, 215 cases since Jan. 1

Most cases are related to transmission at social events and gatherings in Williams Lake

Vernon Fire Rescue Services responded to a single-vehicle rollover Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, after a vehicle came into contact with a pedestrian light pole at Kalamalka Lake Road and 14th Avenue. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Minor injuries in rollover after vehicle hits Vernon crosswalk pole

The vehicle flipped onto its side, closing Kalamalka Lake Road

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Penticton city council heard from Dhorea Ramanula, of Paid Employment for People with Lived Experiences Tuesday, Jan. 19. Ramanula’s organization has operated public washrooms in Kelowna staffed by community support workers since April, she says Penticton could benefit from a similar facility. (Michael Rodriguez - Kelowna Capital News)
Penticton interested in new public washroom concept to combat vandalism

Public washrooms with on-site support staff have been operating in Kelowna since April

Canada Post had remove a lot of letter boxes around Penticton after they were vandalized. This letter box at the United Church on Main St. remains unscathed. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Street mailbox vandals strike Penticton drop boxes

Canada Post had to remove a bunch of the vandalized units

Esa Carriere, 23, was the victim of a 2018 Canada Day homicide. (File)
Youth sentenced in Kelowna Canada Day killing

Young woman pleaded guilty to lesser assault charge, sentenced to 15-month intensive support and supervision program

Most Read