Investigation Launched into Elderly Exploitation Scam in Longueuil

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The authorities in Longueuil have launched an investigation into a suspected group of fraudsters targeting the area’s elderly residents. The group is believed to exploit a variety of telecommunication scams to swindle their victims, including the notorious ‘grandparent scam’.

The law enforcement’s fraud investigation team has unveiled seven pictures of potential suspects, believed to be the masterminds behind the insidious scams. The criminal operation typically begins with a call to a senior citizen, with the fraudster alleging that their grandchild, or a beloved relative, has gotten themselves into legal trouble in Canada or abroad, and requires urgent financial help.

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The persuasion techniques employed are sophisticated, with numerous individuals falling prey to the scheme over the years. The alleged method involves a second ‘actor’ impersonating a lawyer, who then convinces the unsuspecting senior to withdraw large sums of money from an ATM.

This organised group, under the disguise of helping the senior’s grandchild, would collect the withdrawn money under the pretense of paying bail at the police station. Incredible as it may sound, the alleged relative being ‘helped’ often remains oblivious to the scheme.

These fraudsters reportedly trawl the victims’ social media profiles for public information about their relatives to lend credibility to their act. Police note that this form of scam is often difficult to crack, primarily as many victims feel too embarrassed to report being defrauded. In this instance, however, law enforcement operatives successfully traced some suspects using surveillance footage from ATM locations.

A variant of the elaborate scam involves the fraudsters masquerading as police or bank officials. Here, they allege that their victim’s bank account has been compromised, and proceed to extract confidential information, often culminating in the unsuspecting individual making a withdrawal at the ATM.

Cautioning residents, the police advise that calls concerning distressed relatives demanding money should be cross-verified with other family members. Financial institutions also remind their customers that they never solicit banking details through email, text messages, or phone calls.

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