A Saanich senior almost withdrew $40,000.00 from a local bank last week.

On March 3rd, the Saanich Police were contacted by family members of elderly parents who had almost been the victims of fraud.

The elderly couple began receiving calls at 7am in the morning. The woman who phoned was crying and she spoke German, like the victims. She claimed to be a relative in some financial distress. During the conversation, the caller assumed the name of a niece when it was suggested by the victim.

As the story unfolded, 'Olga' in Germany needed immediate cash as hers was all tied up in a 'furniture store' purchase. The victims were entirely convinced that this was in fact a niece in German. To further aid in this fraud attempt, a second caller was introduced as the 'lawyer' who would assist in the transfer of funds. Even more troubling, the victims were convinced to not say anything to other family members.

The elderly couple actually went to the Coast Capital Savings branch at Shelbourne and Cedar Hill X road. When the elderly gentleman tried to take out $40,000.00 from the teller, she suggested this may be a fraud. It was then reported to the manager.

If not for the intervention of bank employees and family members, this may have been a significant fraud investigation.

Ways to avoid your parents becoming a victim of a fraud like this:

• Have a discussion with your parents and educate them.

• If someone phones needing help, make sure they consult with family members.

• If your parents are aged and their health is an issue, consider exploring 'power of attorney' for their affairs

For more information contact the Saanich Police Financial Crimes Section.

12-4224

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