The Ontario Provincial Police service is hailing a “quick-thinking” Rockland bank teller for putting a stop to a withdrawal after realizing that a customer was being scammed.
The OPP got a report on Oct. 12 that a fraudster had called the victim pretending to be a friend and told her that he needed money right away, the Russell County detachment said Tuesday.
The woman followed his instructions to go to the bank and withdraw a “large” sum, police said, but the teller quickly realized what was happening and was able to tell the victim about emergency and so-called “grandparent” scams.
“Fantastic job by the bank teller!” police said.
There’s been an uptick in reports of such scams targeting the vulnerable, including seniors, “by playing upon their emotions and fear of a loved one being hurt or in trouble,” police said.
Often the victim will get a frantic call from someone claiming to be a grandchild or other loved one saying they need money right away because they’ve been in a car crash or are stranded abroad. The scammer will often plead with the victim to tell no one.
Police warn people to be careful of what they post on social media platforms and dating sites because scammers can mine them for details including names, interests, phone numbers and vacation plans.
Fraudsters may ask for a money transfer or might even send someone to the victim’s home to pick up cash, police said, warning people to verify the information before ever sending money or giving credit card information.
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