Police are warning citizens that a recurring scam targeting seniors is back in action.
The Financial Crime Section of the Integrated Criminal Investigation Division has received 12 reports this week regarding seniors who have been contacted by a suspect alleging to be their grandchild. The suspect claims to have an emergency and needs a sum of money for various reasons. In some cases, the suspect tells the senior that a courier will be sent to their home to pick up the money. A legitimate courier is sometimes used but these businesses are not involved in the fraudulent activity. We have also received reports where, after refusing to send any money, the senior is contacted by someone pretending to be a lawyer who asks for the senior’s personal information to vouch for the grandchild.
These calls are not legitimate, and in most cases, the suspect does not know the name of the grandchild and seeks this information from the senior as part of the scam. This scam is not new and has been around for a number of years. In the latest incidents reported to police, one victim was defrauded of thousands of dollars.
Investigators remind citizens to be suspicious of any calls asking for money and to make sure the call is legitimate before sending money or making a donation. You should also refrain from providing personal information, whether the solicitation occurs by telephone, email or in person, unless you have initiated the contact or you are certain of the identification of the person and the legitimacy of the organization they claim to represent. Providing personal information such as your Social Insurance Number (SIN) and date of birth could lead to identity theft.
If you have been the victim of a scam, you should report the matter to police by contacting the Financial Crime Unit at 902-490-1985.