Crook scams 88 year old woman for $4,400 – could police develop strategies with the banks to help prevent this type?

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  March 4, 2013  It didn’t happen in Burlington, but it could have easily happened in this city.  This incidence happened in Georgetown and took place in a mall on Guelph Street.

An 88-year-old Georgetown woman has been victimized in an appalling scheme that is designed to confuse the elderly into parting with their own funds.

On February 26, 2013 the victim received a telephone call from a man claiming to be from her financial institution.

The man told the victim that $4400.00 had been withdrawn from her bank account and he suspected a bank teller was involved.

He asked her to attend the branch and withdraw $4400.00 from a ‘dummy’ account that had been set up, in an effort to catch the bank teller in the act.  He instructed her not to touch the money, but to ensure it was put into an envelope so they could get the bank teller’s fingerprints.

The victim did so and returned home to await further instructions from the alleged bank employee.

Mr. Price asked an 88-year-old woman to take $4,400 out of her bank account and meet him in a parking lot to help capture a crooked teller. This happens too often – the police could work with the banks to help educate the seniors.

The man later called her and instructed her to meet him in the mall parking lot on Guelph Street and told her his name was Mr. Price.  The victim waited in her vehicle and a man approached who identified himself as Mr. Price, took possession of the envelope containing the money and told her an arrest would be made.

Following the encounter, the victim returned home and in looking through her bank book, discovered the only money missing from her account was that she withdrew when told to do so by the alleged bank employee.

The suspect is described as white, approximately 60 years of age, short in stature and a slim build.  He was wearing ‘casual’ clothing, dark coloured jacket and possibly a hat.

Residents are reminded that bank employees would never contact clients in this manner or seek their participation in an investigation.  If you are the recipient of such a phone call, contact the police to report the incident.

There is something more than can be done here.  The banks could print out notices that are given out by the tellers to every senior customer that comes into the bank branches.  Seniors are known to prefer going to the bank – rather than bank on-line.  It gives them a chance to get out and they enjoy talking to the tellers.  There would be a really minimal cost to the bank to provide this service,

Cst Wendy Moraghan of the Halton Regional Police Service has been working with seniors for a number of years and has a great relationship with that community. The problem is that Cst Moraghan can’t get face to face with every senior to tell them what to watch out for. But senior police management could be proactive and work with the banks to help prevent bank scams.

A $4,400  hit would hurt anyone – for a senior – devastating and there is no insurance coverage and nothing the banks can do to get this senior her money back.

Something in the way of warning to the seniors would be very useful.  Here’s a project for the Halton Police – communicate with all the banks and ask them to take part in this kind of effort.

We have a police officer dedicated to elder abuse; this will give her something measurably useful to do.

Anyone with information concerning this incident is asked to contact the One District Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905 825-4747 x2415, Crime Stoppers at 1 800 222-TIPS(8477), through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.com or by texting “Tip201” with your message to 274637(crimes).


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