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New West seniors fall victim to relative phone scams

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Two New Westminster seniors fell victim to phone scams on the same day last week.

The police department said in one case the victim got a call June 19 from a man saying he was his son and needed money to pay for damages from an accident he'd had after a rock concert in Victoria. The man on the phone said he was going to send a friend to meet the victim to get the money.

The victim went to an Uptown back and withdrew "a significant amount of cash" and gave it to the so-called friend at a nearby meeting place.

The victim spoke with his actual son later that day and found out he'd never asked for the money. Police have requested surveillance video from the area.

In the second incident, the victim said she got a call from a man telling her he was her grandson. The man said he needed money to pay for damages from a car crash in Victoria he'd caused while impaired.

She was also told to meet a friend of the grandson who would deliver the money to him. The victim met the friend on the street outside her home.

The next day she talked to her grandson and realized she'd been the victim of fraud.

The first suspect is described as a South Asian male, about 35 years old, five-foot-eight wearing a maroon shirt and tinted prescription sun glasses. The other was a black man about 25 years old who went by the name of Brian. He was six-foot-two to six-foot-four and was wearing a black leather jacket with pockets that snapped shut, black dress pants, black shoes and jewelry.

The NWPD is advising seniors to verify the identity of people claiming to be their relatives over the phone and asking for money. If unsure they should call the police department at 604-525-5411. Anyone with any information about these two crimes should ask for Const. Shannon McLeod or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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