Police warn of scam targeting seniors
Aug 11 2012
Police are warning seniors about a scam artist who asks for money while posing as a long-lost nephew or relative of his victims.
Cpl. Pat Bryant of Central Saanich police said he has received three similar complaints. The suspect is described as a white man with dirty blond or grey hair and a receding hair line. He has hazel-coloured eyes, a reddish complexion and a medium build of about five-foot-six.
“He’s very convincing, very polite,” Bryant said.
The first incident happened Thursday around 9:45 a.m. in Sidney.
An elderly couple was walking on James White Boulevard when the suspect approached them to talk about family.
“We’re warning especially seniors that they don’t give out personal information. He’s able to draw this information out of them,” Bryant said.
The suspect left the couple, promising to return at 2:30 p.m., but didn’t.
The second complaint, late Thursday afternoon, involved the suspect walking into an elderly woman’s home in a retirement community in the 7500 block of East Saanich Road.
“She was sitting in her living room, the door was open but the screen door was closed,” Bryant said. “He said he was her nephew.”
The suspect asked the woman for money but she realized she didn’t know him and said no to his request; he walked out.
Police believe the same man approached an elderly woman who was driving a car in the neighbourhood shortly after.
“He knocked on her passenger window, opened passenger door and sat in the car,” Bryant said, adding that the suspect again talked about family before he left the car.
“He’s very slick,” Bryant said, adding that the suspect’s reasons for needing money included car repair and getting people close to him out of jail or hospital. “He uses various excuses.”
Police are asking people to be on guard and lock their doors at home.
“If anything like this happens, report it to the local police department right away,” Bryant said.
He added that on Thursday night, Victoria police had a report of the scam artist in Fairfield.
Anyone with information about the suspect, or who has been the victim of a similar scam, is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or their local police department.