$9,000 returned to Ottawa woman who fell victim to scam involving son
The Ottawa Police station on Elgin Street is seen in Ottawa, on Monday, Feb. 1, 2021. (Justin Tang/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
OTTAWA -- Ottawa police have returned $9,000 to a woman who fell victim to a scam involving the purported arrest of her son in Montreal.
The woman received a call by someone claiming to be her son on March 26.
"He was crying and difficult to hear, but he was cut off, and a man posing as an RCMP officer came on the line. He told her that her son had been arrested and to send money by a parcel delivery service for his release," said Ottawa police on its website.
The woman followed the instructions and shipped the money to what she thought was the address of a police officer.
When her husband got home, he was suspicious of the call and contacted Ottawa police.
Police say "fortunately" the woman had the package tracking number, allowing officers to get a hold of the parcel delivery service and attempt to have the package re-routed to the sender.
When the package was still delivered to the original destination, police reached out to Montreal police for help. They went to the address and the parcel was on the door step and officers seized the package with the money.
The incident is under investigation.
Ottawa Police Det. Laurie-Anne Rocca offers the following tips to avoid being scammed:
- A police service will not ask for money to be delivered by parcel delivery.
- Verify police are in fact calling you. Don’t use the number given by the caller, use 411 or the Internet to get the phone number and do your own check.
- If the person is claiming to be your family member, ask them to answer questions that only he or she would know
- Don’t be pressured. Take some time to process what you have been told, to see if it makes sense. Try calling the person claiming to be in trouble to see if they answer the phone
- If you are in doubt, call your local police service.
- Make sure you, and elderly family members or friends, are aware of current scams and how they work. You can get information from the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.