“Lost Tourist” Scam Leaves Helpful Senior without Debit or Credit Cards

File: 14-31210Listen: “Lost Tourist” Scam Leaves Helpful Senior without Debit or Credit CardsA helpful Metchosin octogenarian was the victim of an orchestrated theft when she stopped to offer help to two scammers posing as lost tourists. The victim was at the shopping plaza at Fort Street and Foul Bay Road around mid-day last Friday, when she was approached by a man and a woman who were holding a map and asking directions. The woman, who noticed the pair’s map did not even have their current location, took out a map of her own. During the way-finding, the man asked to sit down in the victim’s car, and, being the helpful natured woman she was, she obliged. Directions were exchanged and the pair took off, the victim thinking nothing of the fact that her purse was in her car when the scammers were sitting there. It wasn’t until hours later, when the woman went to purchase groceries that she realized her debit and credit cards were missing and money had been withdrawn. Officers are investigating the incident and following up on any leads. At this time, the best description of the pair of wayward scammers is a French-speaking man in his 20’s, who was short in stature and had brown hair. His accomplice was a Caucasian woman, also in her 20’s who had dark hair and was wearing a black hat. It is unfortunate that scams prey on those who are willing to help. There are several ways to protect yourself while not shutting out the outside world. 1.       Educate yourselfa.       Check out the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre for information on the latest scams and frauds or visit VicPD.ca/fraud2.       Pay attention to your instinctsa.       Don’t be afraid to question things you’re not sure about.3.       Be aware of your surroundingsa.       Fruadsters often use distraction to defraud their victims. Be aware of where you are, who you’re with and where your personal property is. 4.       Stand up for yourself, use your voicea.       If you’re not comfortable saying ‘no’ find a trusted friend or family member who can help you.5.       Keep your personal information –ID, financial, etc. securea.       Don’t give out personal information to anyone. 6.       If it’s too good to be true, it is!“Lost Tourist” Scam Leaves Helpful Senior without Debit or Credit Cards by Victoria Police Department is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.