Seniors beware: phone scammers unrelenting

A Saanich senior is sending out a warning to other seniors after having thwarted a telephone scammer.

A Saanich senior is sending out a warning to other seniors after having thwarted a telephone scammer.

In September Ruth Meyer received a phone call from a man claiming to be her grandson. The man said he was in jail and needed $2,000 sent to him immediately.

Recognizing that the voice on the phone didn’t match up with that of her actual grandson by the same name, and remembering a Saanich News story on telephone scams, Meyer began questioning the caller and when the facts didn’t jibe with her actual grandson’s status, she told the man she would be contacting the police. The caller hung up.

“I’m 73-years-old and I still have it together, but I know that other people have sent money,” said Meyer, who saw the failed scam as an opportunity to educate other seniors.

Meyer called Saanich police, but was disappointed that no-one followed up with her complaint – a symptom of the barrage of scam-related complaints still coming into the department on a daily basis, said Saanich police spokesperson Sgt. Dean Jantzen.

The best defence against scams, Jantzen said, is to react just as Meyer did and question the caller.

“If it’s not a scam people have no problem giving phone numbers and addresses,” Jantzen said. “Do some fact checking. Ask some questions. Be as wary over the telephone as you would be as someone coming to your door.”

nnorth@saanichnews.com