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OPP News - Emergency Scam - Don't fall for it
On Thursday, August 29th, 2013 Napanee OPP were notified that a Loyalist Township woman had become the latest victim of a fraud known as the “Emergency Scam”.
The woman reported that at approximately 10:00 a.m. she received a telephone call from a male person claiming to be her son, saying he was in Quebec, had been arrested for impaired driving, and was involved in a motor vehicle collision. The male was upset and seemed desperate. The phone was turned over to another male using another name that was supposedly his lawyer and was representing her son in court. This male advised her that her son needed money for bail or he would be held in custody over the weekend. He stated that her son was being held in Laval, Quebec and that there was no way she could make it in time to make any payment other than with a wire transfer through Western Union. She was advised that the money she posted for bail would be returned to her.
The victim attended her bank and sent the money through Western Union to the contact name provided. Once the victim was home she received a second call from the “lawyer” who called her back and indicated that Patricia needed to send an additional $1900.00 to compensate the medical expenses of the victim of the motor vehicle collision.
Luckily a bank teller alerted the woman to the scam after questioning her about the second withdrawal she was attempting to make. The second $1900 was not sent.
The “Emergency Scam” Fraud plays to people’s sympathies and emotions. The fraudster will use a story involving a family member in distress and attempt to solicit funds to ease the distress from the victim based on these factors. If you receive a call of this nature, take your time, calm yourself and ask questions of the caller. If the questions cannot be answered accurately, it is most likely a fraud attempt. Always call a trusted family member of friend before responding to any request like this. Once a person has sent money, there is often little or no recourse to get the money back. Fraudsters will not use real names or telephone numbers. Without accurate details about the situation it makes a follow-up investigation almost impossible.