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

RCMP confirm foul play in death of 60-year-old Metchosin man

Police believe crime an isolated incident

Bumper crops of corn, garlic and berries on Peninsula farms

Silver Rill Corn has second earliest harvest ever, mild weather helping other producers

Researchers head out from Sidney to explore Canada’s largest underwater volcano

The Explorer Seamount is as large as Greater Vancouver and full of previously undiscovered species

Prolific offender found sleeping in Oak Bay resident’s car

Of 106 calls to 911 last week, eight were abandoned

RCMP identify Sidney bank robbery suspect, believe he is still on Vancouver Island

Warrant issued for arrest of North Vancouver man for TD Bank robbery

VIDEO: Dashcam video captures moment Victoria cyclist struck

Police seeking cyclist captured in video

UPDATE: Youth seen with gun at Nanaimo mall, suspect now in custody

Woodgrove Centre shut down during police incident

B.C. man dies from rabies after contact with Vancouver Island bat

Last known case of human rabies in B.C. was 16 years ago

Crown recommends up to two-year jail term for former Bountiful leader

Crown says sentence range should be 18 months to two years for Bountiful child removal case

VIDEO: Wolf spotted swimming ashore on northern Vancouver Island

Island wolf population estimated at under 150 in 2008, says VI-Wilds

Diversity a Canadian strength, Trudeau says of Trump tweets at congresswomen

Trudeau avoided using Trump’s name when he was asked about the president’s Twitter comments

Garneau ‘disappointed’ in airlines’ move against new passenger bill of rights

New rules codified compensation for lost luggage, overbooked flights

Canadian is detained in China on drug allegations: Chinese government

Detention of a Canadian in China comes as part a diplomatic dispute triggered by arrest of Huawei exec Meng Wanzhou

Rare white ravens spotted again in mid-Island

Nature photographer Mike Yip said mysterious birds back in Coombs area

Most Read