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Her 83-year-old mother was defrauded of thousands of dollars. Now she wants to warn others


A Montreal woman is warning others after she says her 83-year-old mother was defrauded out of thousands of dollars -- and it all started with a simple phone call.

"We're all in shock. We haven't slept. It's traumatic," said the woman, Susan. CTV News is not using her real name to protect her mother's identity.

The fraud happened a week ago over just a few hours and has left Susan in disbelief.

"It happened at night around 8 p.m. My mother received a phone call claiming that they were from the Scotiabank fraud department, advising her that there had been some fraudulent activity or compromised situation on her cards," she said.

She said they gained her mother's trust because they knew her bank information.

"They had all the card numbers. They knew everything about her accounts," she said.

They then asked her to cut up her cards and sent someone to collect them.

"They still managed to use it because I believe that the chip was still active or intact," explained Susan. "The transactions started within 15 minutes of leaving her residence. They were gas stations. They were online transactions in stores. They were supermarkets."

Susan said they've filed a police report.

In a statement to CTV News, Montreal police say they are aware of this fraud strategy, which has existed for years.

"They were very believable, very convincing. I mean, to get someone out of their house at 10 o'clock at night in their nightgown with an envelope to a stranger, it's just not believable. But they did it," she said.

Susan and her mother are trying to get reimbursed from Scotiabank, but so far, it's not going well.

"We know nothing. We don't even have a case number from the fraud department. We're given no information. We're just left hanging," she said.

In a statement, Scotiabank says it will not "comment on individual client matters for privacy reasons. We take cases of fraud seriously and encourage clients to be wary of any unsolicited calls, text messages or emails they receive, especially if they are asking for personal information."

Scotiabank also has information on its website about different types of fraud.

But a watchdog group called Democracy Watch said it's not always easy to retrieve money from the bank.

"The banks will resist this. They have the power. They have the money. They have the lawyers, and they can drag things out and frustrate a lot of people and get them to walk away, and that's what they try to do in most cases," said Duff Conacher of Democracy Watch.

Susan said she's speaking out because she wants others to be aware so they don't experience the same nightmare.

"Imagine how many other people they're targeting, especially the elderly, she said. Top Stories


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