A quick-thinking Safeway employee helped stop a Vancouver Island woman from getting scammed by a fraudster posing as her grandson.
Sharon Paquette received a phone call from a man claiming to be her grandson, saying he had been in a car accident, and he needed $2,300 fast because he was in a Montreal jail for drinking and driving.
When Paquette rushed down to her local Safeway store — which offers Western Union money transfer services — to send the funds, she mentioned to the clerk that the funds were heading to her grandson.
"After we sent the money I said darn grandkids anyway, they are always needing something."
"And she said, 'Stop right now, it's a scam!'"
"I said, no, it's not a scam."
"She said, 'It's a scam. This is a scam!'
"I said no, it's not, it's my grandson. He's in jail."
"She says, 'I'm stopping it.' So she did and I got my money back."
Paquette says she tried to give the employee a tip, but was refused due to store policy.
Now she wants others to learn from her experience and is warning other grandparents who receive calls from people posing as relatives in need of help not to send the cash without double-checking who they really are.
Police have been issuing warnings about the so-called grandparents scam for several years now.