Senior duped by “FBI agents”

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News

A senior citizen from Huron County was duped out of several thousand dollars by con artists pretending to be FBI agents recently.

During the first week of June, the victim received calls from two men claiming to be FBI agents from Texas. They were able to convince the victim they were investigators working on an earlier fraud that had duped the victim. They told her they needed her help in bringing the scammers to justice, and that she would get a cheque in the mail for $20,000. However, first they just needed her to transfer some money.

The con artists told her to withdraw $6,000 out of her bank account, and if questioned about it to say she was going to purchase a car. They told her to go to the post office, a grocery store and a local pharmacy where she completed wire transfers with cash. After sending the first three transfers of $2,000 each, the victim sent another $500 via wire transfer. After sending the last $500, the victim started to question what she had just done, and returned to the bank where she was told she had just been scammed.

The woman, a 69-year-old from Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh, then called police to report the scam.

The scam is a variation of the advance fee scam. This scam works when fraudsters target victims to make advance or upfront payments for goods, services or financial gains that never materialize.

Victims need to protect themselves. Don’t respond to solicitations to send money or personal information to people you don’t know. Using money transfer services for emergency situations, to claim a prize or assist investigators is a sure sign of a scam. Never respond to these offers. If you are uncertain or feel uneasy about the offer presented, consult with family members or friends before sending any money. Alternatively, you can always check with local police or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre to check the legitimacy of any offer.

If you suspect you may be a target of fraud, or perhaps already a victim, don’t be embarrassed – you’re not alone. If you want to report a fraud or need more information, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.