Alert bank teller saves Saanich couple from ‘grandparent scam’

An elderly German couple living in Saanich was woken up early Saturday morning by a panicked female caller, in need of $40,000.

An elderly German couple living in Saanich was woken up early Saturday morning by a panicked female caller, in need of $40,000. She spoke to them in German, and claimed to be their niece, living in Deutschland.

“Olga, is that you?”

“Yes, it’s me, Olga.”

She said she needed the large sum of money to help pay the bills for her newly acquired furniture store. She also told the couple not to tell other family members about her situation, out of concern that she would be shunned and shamed.

The victims, convinced their niece was really in trouble, went to the Coast Capital Savings credit union on Shelbourne Street to withdraw money.

But the unusually large request caught the attention of the bank teller. When she questioned the elderly man about what the money was to be used for, he explained the situation, which she immediately recognized as a fraud.

Saanich police Sgt. Dean Jantzen said fraudsters perpetrate the “grandparent scam” by tricking their elderly victim into suggesting the name of the family member then taking on that identity.

Often a second scammer will get on the phone, claiming to be a lawyer or authority figure, to create a greater air of legitimacy and urgency.

kslavin@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

One year later, life is much different in Saanich for the Bui family

‘We still hear cars screeching at the intersection,’ says mom of Leila Bui

Man rescued from sinking boat off the coast of Sidney

Mayday call came into Coast Guard saying vessel had taken on water, BC Ferries dispatched to scene

Fairfield computer store faces $20,000 loss to burglary

Thieves broke into EB Computers on Sunday morning

Save-On-Foods fills up the pantry of Jeneece Place

Retailer stocks up kitchen of local facility for the fourth straight year

Four per cent of Canadian women report being sexually harassed in the workplace

One per cent of men report being sexually harassed in the workplace

Victoria Canadian Tire replaces toys stolen from Salvation Army

Children won’t have to go without toys this Christmas

READER POLL: Do you have turkey or ham for Christmas dinner?

What are you having for Christmas dinner? Canadians gobbled up 3.3 million… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 18, 2018

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

‘A stronger Alberta:’ Ottawa announces $1.6B for Canada’s oil and gas sector

Price of Alberta oil plummeted so low that Alberta’s Premier said Canada was practically giving it away

Wicked weather, including heavy snow, rainfall, hammers southern B.C.

Environment Canada has posted winter storm warnings for the Coquihalla Highway, Highway 3

VIDEO: Newcomers join favourites in rounding out Sunfest’s amazing lineup for 2019

The Washboard Union, Cody Johnson, Mitchell Tenpenny, Aaron Goodvin: it just gets better and better

Caretaker jailed, must pay back money after stealing $260K from elderly B.C. couple

Antonette Dizon, now 50, had been hired to provide extra care for Henry and Helen Abfalter

Sea Kings’ final flight holds special meaning for Vancouver Island family

Dozens of people turn out with family of pilot to wave farewell to Sea King helicopters

Retailers feel the squeeze of their generous return policies

Technology data tracking can clamp down on fraudulent abuse

Most Read