If you’re thinking of sending money to Canada to help out a relative that is in trouble, don’t. It is probably a scam.
It starts out with a phone call from someone who claims to be a relative (niece, nephew, cousin) and he or she is in trouble from a car accident or something of that nature. They ask you to please help them out and they need a loan to pay for some misfortune.
They don’t want you to tell their parents now, but they will explain it to them when they get back home. Then after getting you to agree to send them money, they have their court-appointed attorney call you with the instructions on where to send the money, usually asking you to go to Wal-Mart and getting a MoneyGram.
The lawyer is very informed of the legal system and claims to be very busy with court appearances but he’ll take care of things. If you decide to have your relative call you back, the original person will do so. That is when you can determine if it is a scam or not. Ask them some questions that only he or she would know the answers to. They will suddenly be disconnected.
By all means call their parents to confirm that their son or daughter is, in fact, in Canada. Check it out before you send the money that you will never see again.
I almost fell victim to this scam. If you want to know more, call the North Dakota Office of the Attorney General at 800-472-2600.
After the phony phone calls something just didn’t seem right. So I called my daughter-in-law and the nephew that I assumed was in trouble in Canada was actually at home on the computer. It almost cost me $4,000.
Don’t let them make you their next victim.
Bill Reiter, Dickinson