Vancouver police are warning the public about another phone scam bilking seniors out of millions of dollars.
Elderly citizens were tricked out of $3.1 million in five different cases, according to a new release on Wednesday.
The fraudsters called from a landline and pretended to be an employee of a jewelry story or a police officer. He would then convince them their credit card had been fraudulently used for a large purchase or that the police needed their help with a fraud investigation.
The fraudster then told them to hang up and call their bank or 9-1-1. The victims would hang up, then pick up the phone again, but the suspects never disconnected. Police believe they played a recording of a dial tone before answering what the victim thought was a new phone call.
“Awareness is the key to preventing phone scams like this one. When you use a hardline phone, anytime you hang up, there is an opportunity for someone to still be connected with you on the other line,” said VPD Sgt. Jason Robillard. “Consider using a cell phone or make sure you are disconnected after you hang up.”
In two of the five cases, officers were able to recover $2.5 million of stolen money. Police believe more victims may be out there and ask them to call Vancouver police at 604-717-0503.