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A senior from Coquitlam, B.C. has lost thousands of dollars after being targeted by a phone scammer during Fraud Prevention Month.

Police said the 71-year-old victim received a high-pressure phone call last weekend from someone pretending to work in "corporate security" for a Canadian bank.

The caller claimed the senior's credit card had been compromised and convinced her she could only recover the money by purchasing $16,000 in gift cards.

"Once the numbers for those cards were shared over the phone, the money was essentially gone," Coquitlam RCMP said in a news release.

The victim was targeted on Sunday – the first day of March, which has been dedicated as Fraud Prevention Month.

Authorities said anyone who suspects they have received a fraudulent call from someone claiming to work for their bank or the government should hang up, talk to a trusted friend and then look up an official number and call back.

People should also know that banks and government agencies will "never, ever request payment in gift cards, Bitcoin or any form of online or virtual credit," Coquitlam RCMP said.