This scam is operated by fraudsters claiming to be a family member or a close friend of a family member and is advising the potential victim about an urgent situation that requires immediate funds.
The RCMP says common themes have been that the family member was arrested or got into an accident while traveling abroad, and as a result, fees are required for hospital expenses or bail.
Since 2009, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre has received 17,132 emergency scam complaints, accounting for more than $24 million in reported losses, an average loss of $3,743 per victim.
Of the 17,132 complaints, 11,889 emergency scam complaints were reported by Canadians.
The RCMP is therefore offering advice to help protect yourself in the event that you’re found to be in the middle of this scam.
They advise you to confirm with other relatives the whereabouts of the family member or friend, and go on to say that police, judges and other legal entities will never request that money be sent through money service business such as Western Union or MoneyGram.
Always question urgent requests for money and never voluntarily give out family members’ names or information to unknown callers.
Click here to learn more information about various scams, how to identify them, and how to stay protected.
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