Telephone scam artist almost rips off Ukee grandma, 95

A local woman came within minutes of being conned out of nearly $1,000 on Wednesday after receiving a phone call from a woman claiming to be her granddaughter.

The caller told the 95 year-old local that her voice sounded different because she had broken her nose and urged that she needed money immediately.

The caller told the woman she could not leave the hospital but a friend would pick up the money for her and then “coached her how to send the money,” Swann said.

Thinking she was helping her granddaughter at a time of need the woman arranged a $900 money order from the local post office and returned home.

A short while later she spoke with her daughter and realized her granddaughter had not been in an accident and that the person on the phone had lied.

Fortunately she was able to get to the post office before the money order was sent.

“She went back to the post office literally minutes away from it being sent off,” Swann said.

Swann said this type of fraud is common and fraudsters tend to prey on the elderly in schemes that usually require the victim to send money quickly.

“If you ever are asked to give money to anybody for anything, research it,” Swann said. “If you’re a Ucluelet-Tofino resident and you have an elderly person in your life talk to them, tell them about the frauds that are out.”

Swann said most frauds go unreported because victims are too embarrassed to tell their family and friends what happened much less the police and he commended the local woman for having the courage to tell the police about what happened.

The incident is under investigation. reporter@westerlynews.ca