Good Day Block Watch Captains, Co-Captains & Participants,
West Vancouver Police have responded to 243 calls for service since our last Block Watch Coordinator’s update.
It has been a very active week for Fraud suspects with two very familiar Fraud types headlining Crime Alerts.
Grandparent/Fake Bail Scam
West Vancouver Police received over 30 reports in one day of attempts at the Grandparent/Fake Bail Scam. Sadly, suspects succeeded in at least one.
Elderly residents in the Lighthouse Park area received a call from a suspect falsely claiming to be a lawyer for their grandson after a car crash involving injury. The caller demanded cash for bail & legal services. Of particular concern, a female later attended the victim’s residence to collect cash from victims before family members confirmed a scam was in progress. An investigation is ongoing.
Please review this and all Fraud types with all members of your family, particularly with any elderly family members who may be especially vulnerable.
If you receive this kind of call, consider it a scam. Call a family member directly to confirm their wellbeing.
Call police, especially if a suspect is asking to come to your residence to receive payment.
Gift Card Scams
Gift Card Scams were also active this week in West Vancouver.
A resident received email from suspect posing as a friend, asking for help to buy & forward a gift card, claiming they were having difficulty with their own credit card. Unfortunately, the victim bought gift cards and sent details of the card number & PIN, without contacting their actual friend directly to confirm the request. Then the victim noticed the email was slightly different than the friend’s actual address. The money lost is not recoverable.
Gift Card Scams like this can come in many forms, an email claiming to be from a co-worker or friend needing a favour on short notice, like purchase and forwarding of gift cards for an upcoming social event. If you get this kind of email, look carefully at the sending address to confirm it matches exactly with your actual friend or colleague.
If anyone is asking you to pay for any service or product with Gift Cards, Don’t. Gift Cards are for gifts. Anyone seeking payment via a gift card is most likely a scam. We urge you to understand, once you hand over a gift card number and PIN, the money is gone.
If you get this kind of email, Directly double-check with the person being represented in the email through another contact means you know is authentic. Never call back to a number from a recorded message or listed in an unexpected email or text.
If you are fortunate to recognize such a scam in time to avoid any financial loss, you are still encouraged to Make An Online Report To The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre Online or call 1-888-495-8501. Your report helps law enforcement stop scams.
If you did lose money, you can make a non-emergency report to West Vancouver Police at 604-925-7300.
Theft From Auto reports over the past week highlight very basic prevention advice. Even in a comparatively safe community like West Vancouver, leaving valuables in an unattended vehicle, locked or not, is an open invitation to thieves. All but one of the Theft From Auto reports so far this week involved suspects smashing side windows of cars or trucks, and stealing valuable personal accessories, and tools. The reports in our crime alerts include both residential & retail parking areas.
Chief John Lo’s Winter Block Watch Newsletter
A reminder for any who may have missed our Block Watch Coordinator’s Update last week, Chief John Lo’s latest Block Watch Newsletter is available on our website. Chief Lo highlights good news from 2023 West Vancouver Crime Stats, results of a special initiative targeting Shoplifting, and an update on our ongoing work recruiting the best police officers to keep our community safe.
If you see any activity of concern, please don’t hesitate to call West Vancouver Police. Call 604-925-7300 for non-emergency matters. Call 9-1-1 in an emergency, including events that involve an immediate threat to a person or property or to report a substantive crime in progress.
For updated crime alerts between our weekly updates click westvanpolice.ca/crime-alerts.
Block Watch & Operational Support Coordinator
West Vancouver Police