Halifax Regional Police have arrested a man accused of being involved in a “bail bondsman” scam targeting seniors that lost victims thousands of dollars.
In a release Wednesday, HRP said they, as well as the Halifax District RCMP, received a number of reports in relation to frauds between Nov. 29 and Dec. 2.
It said the victims had been contacted by fraudsters posing as a relative who had been arrested and needed bail money.
“The call was then usually taken over by another person pretending to be in a position of authority, such as a police officer or a lawyer, instructing the victim to provide this bail,” it said.
“The fraudsters then sent a ‘bail bondsman’ to the victim’s address to collect the cash or ask that it be sent by courier.”
The release said members of the financial crime unit, with assistance from the Codiac Regional RCMP, arrested a man in Moncton, N.B., on Tuesday.
Omar Zanfi, 24, was brought back to Halifax and is scheduled to appear in Halifax Provincial Court on Wednesday to face the following charges:
Fraud over $5,000 (x 4);
Fraud under $5,000 (x 2);
Possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000 (x 4);
Possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000 (x 2);
Participating in a criminal organization.
“Police remind people to be suspicious of any emails or calls asking for money and to make sure the caller is legitimate before sending any money,” the release said.
“You should also not give personal information to anyone, whether solicitation occurs by email, telephone or in person, unless you have initiated the contact or you are certain of the identification of the individual and the legitimacy of the organization they claim to represent.”
It noted that police and government organizations do not go to people’s doors to collect money.
Last week, police released a security camera pictures of a vehicle, as well as a man on a doorstep believed to be involved in the scam. At the time, police said there were several incidents and each victim was scammed out of between $5,000 and $10,000.
HRP spokesperson Const. John MacLeod confirmed Wednesday the arrest was in relation to that investigation, but he couldn’t say if the release of the photos led to the arrest.