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North Van seniors nearly taken for $9,000 in bail scam, RCMP say

It seems every month there's another scam to warn us about, most targeting seniors.
North Vancouver RCMP are seeking out the drivers of this BMW. They are suspects in an attempted "bail scam" targeting seniors on Jan. 3, 2023. | North Vancouver RCMP

North Vancouver RCMP are again warning the public after scammers nearly took two Delbrook seniors for $9,000.

It’s the most recent incident of an attempted “bail scam.”

On Jan. 3, an elderly couple were contacted over the phone by someone claiming to be a lawyer and informing them that their grandson had been arrested. In order to make bail, the scammer said the seniors would have to put up $9,000 in cash, which a bond carrier would pick up from them in person.

That afternoon, two women arrived at the victims’ residence in a white BMW SUV but by then, the couple had become suspicious and did not turn over any cash. They then called their grandson who confirmed he was not in jail and the seniors reported the incident to the RCMP.

Investigators say they believe the same group of scammers has been at work with similar frauds and suspects popping up around Canada. Lately, they have been operating in the Lower Mainland.

One of the women is described as having poor complexion. The other suspect is described as being South Asian with large fake eyelashes.

In an effort to further the investigation, RCMP are releasing surveillance images of the suspect vehicle and are asking anyone who may have home security or dashcam footage of the vehicle travelling on the 700 block St. Ives Cres. to contact North Vancouver RCMP at 604-985-1311 and quote file #23-184.

North Vancouver RCMP and West Vancouver Police Department have been issuing many warnings about scammers at work over the last year. In December, the RCMP cautioned the public after one of their civilian staffers was targeted in a “boss scam,” in which fraudsters purporting to be in senior management asked the victim to send $1,400 in Target gift cards. The month before, it was a hoax kidnapping and ransom attempt. In October, police warned of scammers attempting to sell fake gold jewelry.

“The best offence is a good defence,” said Const. Mansoor Sahak, North Vancouver RCMP spokesperson. “Share these tips with anyone who may be vulnerable, particularly our elderly community who are often targeted by these fraud artists.”

How to protect yourself:

  • Report the scam call to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre’s online reporting system or call them toll-free at 1-888-495-8501.
  • Be careful about posting personal details and names of family members on social media platforms.
  • Privatize your social media accounts and protect your personal information.
  • Change your online passwords to be difficult and all different from each other.
  • Be careful with caller ID numbers that look familiar. Scammers use technology to disguise the actual number they are calling from to make it appear as a trusted phone number.

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