The South Simcoe Police Service is reminding the public to beware of the grandparent scam after two Bradford residents were defrauded of thousands of dollars.
The scam in each incident followed the typical pattern. The victims, aged 60 and 89, received a phone call from someone posing as a police officer who claimed their grandson was under arrest and needed money for bail. Fraudsters pose as police officers, lawyers or court officials to trick panicked victims into acting fast. In these latest incidents, both victims obtained the cash and a male suspect picked up the funds at their home. The suspects demanded a second payment from the 89-year-old victim, who told a family member, who then called police. The investigations are ongoing.
Police urge you to share the following information from the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre with your loved ones and friends to help reduce the risk of being a victim.
Emergency scams, like the grandparent scam, typically target older adults and prey on your fear of a loved one or friend being hurt or in trouble. Scenarios may include:
- Needing bail money because they’ve been arrested
- Being in a car accident
- Trouble returning from a foreign country
- Claim to be law enforcement officials, lawyers and/or impersonate a grandchild/family member
- Use urgency and threats to convince you to take out money
- Claim that there is a “gag order” preventing you from speaking about the situation
- If you agree to pay the requested amount (cash or cryptocurrency), fraudsters will arrange to pick up the funds in person or will ask you to send cash in the mail
How to protect yourself:
- If you receive a phone call claiming to be from a family member in an emergency situation, hang up the phone and contact them directly using a phone number you already have — not one provided by the suspected fraudster
- If the caller claims to be a law enforcement official, hang up and call your local police directly, using a phone number from a reputable source — not one provided by the suspected fraudster
- Be suspicious of telephone calls that require you to immediately take action and request money for a family member in distress
- Listen to that inner voice that is saying, “This doesn’t sound right”
- It is important to know the Canadian criminal justice system does not allow for someone to be bailed out of jail with cash or cryptocurrency
- Be careful what you post online. Scammers can get details that you shared on social media platforms and dating sites to target you or get names and details about your loved ones
- Don’t trust caller ID names and numbers. Scammers use technology to disguise the actual number they are calling from and can make it appear as a trusted phone number, also known as spoofing.
This article was originally sourced from www.innisfiltoday.ca