A day earlier, victim had handed over $10,000
AN alleged scammer looking to collect $25,000 for “bail money” from a Delta resident, was instead met by police at the door and arrested.
A Delta resident received a series of phone calls from someone claiming to be with the RCMP on January 13, and was told she urgently needed to provide bail money for her grandson. The person on the line knew the name of her grandson. She was told to keep the conversation confidential.
“Unfortunately scammers will often pretend to be with police or government agencies, in order to gain the trust of the victim,” said Inspector Brian Hill, in charge of frontline patrol at Delta Police, on Tuesday. “Phone calls from these scammers may even appear to be coming from the agency or police department. However, we want the public to know it’s very easy for phone numbers to be faked or spoofed.”
In this case the victim handed over $10,000 on January 13 to a person who collected the cash from her home. On the January 14, the scammers called back, saying the victim’s grandson needed additional money for probation — another $25,000.
“Fortunately she became suspicious, particularly when her supposed grandson was not able to answer questions,” said Hill. “She called Delta Police, and we immediately began an investigation. Thanks to her timely alert, our officers were in place when the suspect showed up at her door that evening.”
Police arrested the suspect without incident and are currently working with other police departments in the Metro Vancouver area to determine if this incident is linked to other similar complaints, some of which were recently publicized by media.
“I can also confirm that there are outstanding persons of interest in this matter, with whom the police would like to speak,” said Hill.
Police have not recovered the $10,000 that the victim initially handed over. No money was provided during the second instance.
Marie-Jeanne Belanger, 22, of Quebec, is facing one charge of committing fraud over $5,000. She was released from custody on January 17 on a number of conditions.
Delta Police cautions the public that Canadian police will not contact you in any manner to request funds for bail money, probation, etc. If you suspect the person on phone pressuring you to hand over money, they may not be who they claim. Hang up immediately. Use the internet to find a general number for that agency, and call them directly to determine if there is any legitimacy to what is claimed.
If you believe you might have been the victim of fraud, reach out to your police of jurisdiction to report the matter. In Delta, call 604-946-4411.