Ontario: Fraudster uses van crash to dupe senior
Fraudster uses Ont. van crash to dupe senior
Windsor Police say an alleged fraudster used the tragic Ontario van crash that killed 11 people to fool a senior citizen into sending him nearly $3,000 in cash.
The 76-year-old woman told Windsor Police officers she received a phone call Thursday from a man who said he was the woman's grandson. The man, who never identified himself by name, told the woman he had been in a car accident and jailed and that he needed her to wire cash to repair the car in order for him to be released from jail.
The 76-year-old Windsor woman wired the money to unknown person in Peru.
"It's disturbing because her alleged grandson told her he had been in an accident with people who were from Peru. As we all know that story is in the press right now right now and it gives it that little bit of legitimacy ... it gives it that little nugget of truth," said Windsor Police Sgt. Gerry Corriveau of the arson and fraud unit.
Corriveau said the reference to a current high-profile event is all it sometimes takes to confuse a senior citizen.
In this case, the woman believed she was speaking with her grandson. So, she went to her bank, withdrew $2,800 and using Western Union wired it to a name provided to her by the man on the phone.
Hours later, the same man phoned again asking for more money. He claimed the cost of the repairs had exceeded the original estimate.
The woman went back to her bank to withdraw the cash, but an employee advised her to not go through with it. The woman agreed and tried to cancel the original transaction but was told an unknown person had already picked up the cash on the other end.
The woman then called police, who are now investigating.
The Windsor Police Service said people should never wire or send money to anyone who calls soliciting for cash. The money is almost always unrecoverable and the victim's cash will be lost, police said.
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