Massive Mail-Out Scam Amounts To 'Elder Abuse

A routine traffic stop by Vancouverm, Canada police ended in jail for a Colombian man, when the police discovered that his rental car was filled with mail connected to a worldwide scam targeting the elderly.

Colombian citizen and Florida resident Juan David Hernandez, 28, pleaded guilty to fraud over $5,000 in Vancouver provincial court last month and was sentenced to six months in jail. "When they looked inside the vehicle's front seat, they saw bags and bags of mail," Vancouver Police Det. Rick Stewart said.

The mail turned out to be remittance letters containing $30 checks from people in Europe, Australia and New Zealand. After investigating further, police discovered that Hernandez had scammed his targets by sending letters asking for a small payment to receive a big cash prize.

"This particular one is targeted so directly to senior citizens. Our victims are between the ages of 68 and 94," Stewart said. The mail was traced to four mailboxes in the Vancouver area, receiving a total of about 200 letters a day. Stewart says that this bust marks the largest telemarketing or mail-out scam investigators have seen in the last seven years.

"Once an elderly person answers one of these letters, they end up on every hit list going around the world. They're not victimized once; they're victimized several times." He said seniors should remember that they can't win a prize if they haven't entered a contest.

For more go to: CTVNews

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