Edmonton senior gets refund after family says she was scammed into buying $4K in Sephora gift cards



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It's been nearly two months since an Edmonton family shared its story of their 85-year-old grandmother, who was scammed into buying $4,000 worth of Sephora gift cards.

It’s been nearly two months since an Edmonton family shared the story of their 85-year old grandmother, who was scammed into buying $4,000 worth of gift cards, without being able to get a refund.

But after plenty of phone calls, emails and online support, the money was finally returned.

In June, Greg Cars, the victim’s son-in-law, told Global News phone scammers directed his mother-in-law to make a trip to Sephora in West Edmonton Mall to buy the gift cards.

The senior was told if she bought them, it would help prevent fraud on her bank account and Visa card.

“This is not the time to point fingers at seniors or anyone else saying, ‘How did you get sucked into this?’ It can happen to anybody,” Cars said.

Cars tried to get a refund for his mother-in-law but was met with little to no results. Going nowhere, he welcomed support from the community.

“I was pretty upset about it, just personally thinking about my grandmother when she was alive, she would have been susceptible to something like this,” concerned citizen Tyler Wagner said.

Wagner is one of many people who raised their hands wanting to help after he heard about this story.

“Once I got ahold of this, I couldn’t let it go until I saw justice done, and with a lot of help from a lot of people who felt the same way, a lot of phone calls were made to head office, to the local stores and it got attention,” Wagner said.

Albertans beware, phone scams on the rise

“Between family, friends and strangers, the opportunity to help out was incredible,” Cars said.

After weeks of trying to get his mother-in-law’s money back, it was finally refunded.

Sephora wrote to Global News, saying: “Working closely with the family and local authorities, Sephora Canada was able to resolve this client matter. As an organization, we take fraud very seriously. In addition to ongoing surveillance of these scams and current preventative measures, Sephora Canada has recently implemented a $500 gift card limit per client in stores to mitigate the impact of these scams in our communities.”

Despite all the hurdles, Cars said it is the outcome his family was hoping for.

“She’s very happy to get her money back and now she won’t even answer the phone if it’s not a call display that she doesn’t know,” Cars said.

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