On Monday, Nov. 11, at about 3 p.m. I was at the Scotiabank ATM in Williams Lake to check my accounts.
Suddenly the door flew open and a woman rushed in with cellphone in hand looking at the posters with the 1-800 number for reporting lost cards.
She told me a tale of woe: her purse stolen, her night shift at a nursing station out west, her husband on the road home from Revelstoke, etc., etc. She was very convincing and I ‘lent’ her some money to get gas for her son’s old truck to get her out to her job on time.
Silly me. I even gave her my phone number and took hers so that I could be reassured that she got home safely.
Thinking back there were many signs that all was not as she related. Had she called the police? I did not ask.
How could she show me identification if her purse was stolen? I said she did not have to. No one could make up that story (silly me, again).
Perhaps the amount of detail should have alerted me.
Turns out, as I tell this story to friends, that she has had at least weeks of practice, and quite some success.
At Canadian Tire, at Save-On-Foods and at other locations she has been out of gas and needed help. And people have been generous.
People need to know about this 40ish, white Caucasian, middle-height woman and be wary of her.
Apparently she often presents herself as a nurse.
She will give a new story each time and she is very inventive and convincing.
Not that we need to suppress out generous impulses, just that we need to keep our guard up and let others know if we have been taken in.
I wish I had heard of this scam earlier. I hope I will be wiser another time.
Jean E. Oke