THUNDER BAY – The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) would like to warn the public that the emergency/grandparent scam has surfaced again.
In these cases, the victim typically receives a frantic phone call or an emergency email from someone claiming to be a grandchild, friend or loved one. The scammer will explain they are involved in some sort of legal trouble, have been injured or are having trouble returning from a foreign country and need money right away.
With the emergency/grandparent scam the scammer attempts to create a sense of urgency which may cause the victim to not verify the story. The scammer will often insist that the victim not tell anyone and to transfer the money that has been requested through a money transfer company. Also, many scammers want to trick you into providing your banking and personal information. In fact, the criminals will fraudulently use your personal information to steal your money.
These scam artists are somehow able to play on the sympathy of one grandparent. The usual modus operandi is to ask the grandparent not to tell the other grandparent sometimes over health issues or other concerns.
If a scam artist contacts you or if you have been defrauded contact your local police service and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC). You can file a report with the CAFC by calling 1-888-495-8501 (Monday to Friday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm EST) or by using their online reporting tool at www.antifraudcentre.ca