A scam artist played on the heartstrings of a local grandfather — and got away with nearly $7,000.
It’s a scam Calgary police have been warning citizens about since early this year. And 87-year-old Henry Sawatzky became victim to the “grandparent scam” three weeks ago.
One afternoon, Sawatzky’s wife answered a phone call and heard, “Hi Grandma, how are you?” She replied, “Paul? How are you?”
“Paul” went on to describe to both grandparents that he had “a problem.” He had gone to Montreal, rented a car, had some drinks, got into a fender bender, and was fined $4,100.
“I’m pressed for time. This is the last time you can talk to me,” Sawatzky said, recalling “Paul’s” words. “Go to your bank, get money in cash, and go to the nearest Western Union.”
Sawatzky was later contacted by a so-called lawyer, “Mark Ruck,” to confirm the transaction.
The next day, “Ruck” pleaded for an extra $2,800 — this time to help one of the injured passengers.
Although suspicious of a scam, Sawatzky sent the money. Upon reflection, Sawatzky said he was convinced he was helping his grandson.