Skip to main content

'Know that it can happen to you': Nova Scotia senior warns others about scam

Share

A Nova Scotia senior is warning people about a scam targeting grandparents after she lost $5,000 to fraudsters.

Debbie Reid, 64, of Middle Sackville, N.S., is one of several victims whose cases is being investigated by Halifax Regional Police and RCMP.

"It’s scary. Especially when they come to the house," Reid said. “It kind of scares ya.”

On Monday, Reid’s phone rang. The man on the other line claimed to be her grandson. He said had been in a car collision, in police custody, and needed bail money.

"It sounded like him,” Reid said. "The way he was talking, everything.”

A person posing as a police officer joined the call and outlined the conditions.

"It was $90,000 bail,” Reid said. “That he had to come up with 10 per cent of that.”

She was promised she’d get the money back once her grandson went to court.

Feeling pressured and guilty Reid rushed to her bank and withdrew her vacation savings-- $5,000.

It was money she’d saved up to take her first cruise after her husband died in 2021.

"He said okay, they got a hold of the bondsman and they’re sending a courier over to pick it up," Reid said.

A man came to her door and collected the cash.

It was after she handed the money over that she called her son she realized she’d been scammed.

Her grandson was home all day.

“I feel stupid not to question anything he was saying really. And I didn’t,” Reid said.

“Lost. I feel violated. I’m hurt. I’m angry. I’m upset. All of that.”

Nova Scotia RCMP said they’re dealing with several victims a week.

"Let’s not lose sight of the fact these people are professionals," said Sgt. Andrew Joyce, a Public Information Officer with Nova Scotia RCMP. "They’re very good at what they do. They’re very convincing.”

CTV News obtained surveillance footage of a man walking up and down Reid’s street who she said came to her door.

On Wednesday, Halifax Regional Police issued a suspect photo and described the suspect as a black man in his 20s or 30s, who is approximately 6’ tall and has short dark hair and glasses.

"We’ve had some success last month where police arrested an individual with this exact type of scam. But here we are again, somebody doing a very, very similar type thing,” said Joyce.

Police are reminding people to be suspicious of any emails or calls asking for money.

While some of the suspects have been posing as an officer to get bail, HRP and RCMP add police would never make this type of call.

Reid hopes by sharing her story, she can help someone else.

"Know that it can happen to you when I don’t think I would ever happen to me and it did,” Reid said.

“It does happen, they’re very professional. They know what they’re doing.”

Anyone who has lost money or identity in relation to a scam are asked to call Halifax Regional Police at 902-490-5016. If you know of a scam but haven’t been a victim, it can be reported to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

CTVNews.ca Top Stories

Tipping in Canada: How much really goes to the employee?

Consumers may have many reasons to feel tip fatigue. But who loses out when we decide to tip less, or not at all? CTVNews.ca spoke with a few industry experts to find out how tipping works and who actually receives the money.

Stay Connected