OPP warn of growing reports of tele-fraud targeting seniors
The "grandson scam" as it was dubbed following the arrest of seven
people in February 2011, "appears to be resurfacing in our area" and
according to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, "has been on the rise in
the last two months."
In a cautionary note issued this week, Nottawasaga OPP Detachment
Commander, Inspector Dirk Cockburn, noted the tele-fraud is not new,
and targets seniors.
"The emergency scam starts with a grandparent/senior receiving a call
from someone claiming to be their grandchild, they claim to be in
trouble (for example a motor vehicle collsion, trouble returning from a
foreign country or they need bail money)," according to the statement.
"The caller tries to make you believe they are your grandchild and they
discourage you from contacting other family members. They ask you to
wire some money, often through a money wire transfer service and
unfortunately the victim's of this scam don't verify the need for the
money until after the wire transfer has taken place."
In January 2011, Nottawasaga OPP were investigating four such
complaints in Green Briar and Briar Hill. Then, it was someone claiming
to be a relative involved in a car accident in Quebec and required bail
money and funds to get home. The initial calls were usually followed-up
by a second person claiming to be a lawyer or police officer, providing
instructions on how to send money, with a promises to pay back the
victim, who is also asked not to tell anyone about the "arrest" or
Seven people from the GTA were arrested by Halton police alleged to be
making up to 200 phone calls daily, targeting 15 to 20 victims who were
asked for between $2,500 to $6,000.
OPP offered the following reminders:
Never send money to anyone you do not know or trust.
Try to verify their identity, call a family member to
verify the story.
Never give out personal information to the caller.
Ask a question that only your grandchild would know the
On Tues., Feb. 12, the OPP will be holding a seminar on Seniors' scams
starting at Riverwood Retirement Home, starting at 2 pm. RSVP to the
Activity Director, Kim Brown at (705) 434-3806, if interested in