Increasingly elaborate ‘grandparent scam’ targets Calgary senior

Staff Sergeant Geoff Gawlinski with the Calgary Police Service Economic Crimes Unit said he has noticed scams are becoming more sophisticated. TRINITY FITZPATRICK / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY

A Calgary woman wants to warn others about an elaborate phone scam that nearly cost her $2,000.

It’s part of an increasingly sly process that dupes unsuspecting seniors.

“I just don’t find that I’m a gullible person. And I came so close,” said Dianne Scott.

“These scams are usually 10 minutes on the phone, but they were willing to be on the phone with me for an hour and a half, and have all these different people.”

On April 4, Scott received a text message from TD Bank spoof account. It was an alert that her credit card was over its limit. 

A few hours later, she received a phone call from the so-called bank. 

She was told there were two suspicious charges on her credit card. One charge was for $400 on eBay and the other was for $1,300 on a Google Play gift card.

The man told Scott they were going to get her money back. Scott was then transferred to another person who claimed they were dealing with eBay. She verified that she did not authorize the charge.

Scott said the man confirmed that he’s never seen similar charges on her credit card before, and so the charge was “cancelled.” Scott was later very concerned about how he could have known this, or if it was a lucky guess.

“He kept saying, we’re gonna help you, we’re gonna…

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