They can be one of the more vulnerable groups in society, especially when it comes to fraud.
So Coquitlam RCMP are cautioning seniors to be on the lookout for scams and frauds, following a number of recent incidents targeting the age group.
According to police, the first incident happened on the afternoon of Aug. 13, after a man approached a 76-year-old woman near Durant Drive and Johnson Street in Coquitlam asking for directions to the hospital. After getting the directions, a woman got out of a nearby grey vehicle to thank the victim by offering a necklace. Police said the suspect was very persistent and placed the necklace on the victim's neck, despite repeated protests. Shortly after the suspects left, the victim realized her 24-karat gold necklace with a pendant was gone.
The next day, around Hastings Street and Battistoni Place in PoCo, a woman approached a 61-year-old victim and tried to sell her a gold necklace, telling the victim it was to raise money. The suspect tried to place the necklace around the victim's neck but was refused. The woman then placed the necklace in the victim's hand and told her she could have it. It wasn't until later the senior realized her gold necklace with a gold religious charm was gone.
One suspect involved in the alleged thefts is described as a Middle Eastern looking man in his '40s, standing about five feet eight inches tall with an average build and a rounded face and moustache.
The second suspect is described as a Middle Eastern looking woman in her late '30s, standing about five feet four inches tall with a medium build and dark shoulderlength hair.
The third incident took place on the afternoon of Aug. 22, after a crying woman in a wheelchair approached an 85-year-old victim and told him she had no money to travel to Vancouver General Hospital to see her injured children. The victim went inside Coquitlam Centre to call a taxi for the suspect.
Police said the victim noticed two other men with the woman when he came back out. The senior then gave $100 to the cab driver so the wheelchair-bound woman and one of the men could go to the hospital.
Mounties said the cab made it about 100 feet away before the duo abruptly asked the driver to stop and demanded the money back.
The first suspect in that incident is described as a Caucasian woman in her late '40s to early '50s, weighing about 140 pounds, with pale blue eyes and short sandybrown ear-length hair.
The second suspect is described as a Caucasian man in his late '20s, standing six feet tall, weighing 170 to 180 pounds, clean cut, with a slim build and short dark hair. He introduced himself to the victim as "John."
The third man is described as Caucasian, in his mid to late '20s, standing si -feet tall, weighing 170 to 180 pounds with a slim build and wearing a baseball hat.
"Prevention is the key here," said RCMP Cpl. Jamie Chung in a statement. "The truth is even if the bad guys are charged and convicted, you probably won't get back what was stolen or scammed from you. Being aware of your surroundings and taking precautions are the best defenses against being victimized by con artists, and we are here to arm you with the knowledge."
© Copyright 2013