A Calgary man is hoping his message will help others avoid being duped for a scam he was taken by.
The victim, who has asked to remain anonymous, says it all started when the fraudster asked for directions to the airport, and it cost him $2,500.
“He’s so thankful and shaking my head and clapping my back and just so, you know, “I just gotta get there” and then he breaks down,” he tells News Talk 770, outlining how the suspect then says he has a problem and needs his help.
The scammer told him that he needed the money for his family and would transfer him funds first thing the following morning.
As collateral, he was given supposed “designer clothes.”
The victim did file a report with Calgary Police, something they recommend doing, even if there is some hesitation because of the embarrassment that can come with feeling conned.
“If we don’t know about it, we can’t help them, we do want to be there to help people,” Economic Crimes Unit Staff Sergeant Jeff Bell said in a phone interview on Monday. “What we’re asking is even if you think there could be an air of dishonesty about it, please contact CPS and report it to us so we can take the investigative steps to get to the bottom of it.”
Bell says they have noted an increase in the number of fraud-related crimes in the city, which is the same as we’re seeing across the country, and notes the reasons could be anything from people feeling open enough to report, to the economy leading to more people being desperate for a quick buck.
He adds you have to be patient with investigators, as they might not get the money back quickly, as sometimes the investigations cross national and international boundaries and take time.
The victim says it was tough to deal with, but feels something needs to be done, and hopes his message does that.
“I tell you, the act that they put on, I mean, real tears,” he said. “It was Hollywood, I tell ya, he’s that good.”