Retired police officer arrests senior fraudster in the act

The insight of a retired police officer led to the arrest and conviction of a senior fraudster caught in the act at a Desjardins caisse in Montérégie.

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“It’s a bit of my sixth sense that made me 100% sure it was a fraud,” says Patrick Paul, 55.

Since the start of the pandemic, the retiree has worked as a receptionist in a branch of the Caisse Desjardins, on boulevard Poliquin, in Sorel-Tracy.

In his new role, Mr. Paul had somewhat tidied up his police reflexes…until January 28.

That day, in the afternoon, a well-dressed young man, wearing black gloves and talking on a cell phone, entered the cash desk, before asking where the counters were.

“Already there, I had a little doubt”, explains the one who had never met this individual in the small town where he patrolled for the Sûreté du Québec for years.

Never two without three

About 30 minutes later, the sleazy customer returned to make a transaction, which did not escape the attention of the ex-policeman. He also noticed that the customer had gone to a parking lot across the street, “to avoid outside cameras,” said Mr. Paul.

It was then that the individual showed up a third time within 90 minutes.

” As in The Fine Malaises, it was “too much for me”, jokingly tells Mr. Paul, who followed the individual to the counter. He then heard him ask “OK, what’s the PIN?” 1212? to his interlocutor.

“I asked to see his card. When I saw that the names didn’t match, I told him: ‘You came here to cheat,’” relates Mr. Paul.

At that time, the fraudster tried to hit him and run away. Patrick Paul grabbed him by the tie before throwing him to the ground and holding him for ten minutes until the police arrived.

“He struggled, but I’m no worse for my age, I have a good armbar,” boasts the fifty-year-old.

In prison

A month ago, Bogdan Mihai Lazar, 25, was sentenced to 9 months in prison after pleading guilty to fraud at the Sorel-Tracy courthouse. The Laval residents’ grandparent fraud scheme had targeted three seniors from this region.

“The police told me that the fraudsters call and pretend to be Desjardins. They say you were defrauded, to put your card in the mailbox with your PIN to avoid contact because of COVID, ”explains Mr. Paul.

“Desjardins will never pick up its cards from its members,” said its spokesperson, Jean-Benoit Turcotti. We will never ask for your personal numbers over the phone either. If you have any doubts, hang up and call 1-800-CAISSES to check. »

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