Grandparent Scam Surfaces Again in Region

Grandparent Scam

Hello Gramma, I need help!

DRYDEN – The Dryden Police Service wishes to warn the public about recent reports of the Grandparent Scam in the Dryden area. Police are advising the public to be aware of these types of calls and recognize that this is a scam.

These frauds target grandparents and seek to convince them their grandchildren are in trouble or in danger. Often the fraudsters will also try to make sure one grandparent doesn’t tell the other what is happening.

Here is the scenario the fraud follows: A scammer contacts an elderly person and pretends to be a grandchild or a family member in some kind of trouble and in need of immediate financial assistance. In this typical scenario, the scammer will tell the victim that they have been arrested and requires bail money, have been in a car accident, need money to cover hospital costs or are having trouble returning from a foreign country. For verification, the elderly person is given a phone number to call, which will be answered by someone pretending to be a lawyer or a police officer.

In a recent complaint received by the Dryden Police Service, the victim was told a grandchild was kidnapped and the victim could hear screaming in the background during the call. In some cases, the scammer will ask the victim to send gift cards as payment.
The scammer will ask questions during the call, getting the victim to volunteer personal information. The “grandchild/family member” will insist that the victim not contact their parents or relatives as they don’t want to get into more trouble. The victim is then asked to use a money service business to send several thousands of dollars for bail.

These frauds can be very convincing and often following the incidents, once the grandparent finds out they have been defrauded, they are reluctant to tell anyone.

The best advice is to simply hang up the phone on these scam artists.

Prevention tips
• Police, judges or legal entities will never request that money be sent through money service businesses or want payment in gift cards.
• Don’t give out personal information to the caller, including credit card information.
• Confirm with other relatives the whereabouts of the family member or friend in question before even considering sending money.
• Never send money through money wire services to persons you don’t know personally. Verify the person’s identity before you take any steps to help. The money can be picked up anywhere in the world once it is given a transaction number.
To learn more about frauds and scams go to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website.

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