Saanich Police are praising one sharp-witted nonagenarian after she stopped a fraudster in his tracks.
A 90-year-old Saanich woman was contacted on Wednesday, January 22nd, by someone claiming to be from the Regional Health Authority.
The scammer, described as a male with a very strong accent, said that he was calling seniors around the community to talk about the benefit of vitamin pills. He recommended that she purchase some natural vitamin B products.
But the senior’s discerning attitude kept her safe.
“Aren’t all vitamins natural?” she asked the caller, who promptly hung up.
The scammer had called from a 289 phone extension traced back to Hamilton, ON. On call back, the phone number was out of service.
The number was also listed online regarding similar scams from callers pretending to be with a Regional Health Authority.
“While this 90 year-old senior was too clever for this scammer and did not provide him with any personal or banking information, she called the Saanich Police in an appeal to warn other seniors who might fall victim to this type of scam,” said Saanich PD’s Cst. Markus Anastasiades in a statement.
Protecting yourself from scams
Island Health confirmed that they do not contact people to sell products over the phone. The organization encourages anyone who receives this type of solicitation to notify police.
The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission’s website offers tips and tricks for protecting yourself and loved ones from phone scams.
Among other suggestions, they warn the public to never give an unsolicited caller access to your computer or give out personal information over the phone.
Canadians can also register their phone number with the National Do Not Call list, which means fewer spam calls will make their way to their phones.
If you are the subject of any attempted scam or fraud, but have not lost any money or provided personal or financial information, you can report it to the Canadian Anti-fraud Centre (CAFC) by calling 1-888-495-8501.
Anything more serious should be reported to police.