The Port Moody Police Department is the latest agency in the Lower Mainland to warn about bail scams targeting seniors, after a man in the community nearly lost $12,000 to one.

The senior received a phone call Thursday from someone claiming to be from a local police department, the PMPD said in a news release this week.

The caller told the man that a member of his family was in custody and needed bail money.

The victim withdrew $12,000 from his bank account, but became suspicious, police said. Before calling the scammer back to arrange to hand over the money, the senior called the PMPD, who confirmed the incident was a scam.

An officer escorted the man back to the bank to re-deposit the funds, police said.

“Thankfully, this elderly man had the wherewithal to contact police prior to handing over this cash to the would-be fraudster,” said Const. Sam Zacharias, community and media relations officer for Port Moody police, in the news release.

“Oftentimes, these incidents do not end on a positive note,” he added. “Police will not call family members asking for bail money and should you encounter a situation like this, please contact your local police.”

The close call is just the latest iteration of a scam that has cost Lower Mainland residents more than $100,000 so far in 2022.

Police in Vancouver, Surrey, Delta and West Vancouver have all reported incidents in which victims have lost money to bail scams this year. North Vancouver RCMP and New Westminster police have also issued warnings about the scam, though they did not cite any instances in which it was successful.

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