On July 31, 2019, just after 5:00 pm the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), Prince Edward Detachment investigated a report of fraud at a Wellington address.
The OPP says that “A female resident on Harbourview Court in Wellington received a frantic phone call from a male whom she believed was her son who told her he was in jail as he had been involved in a serious motor vehicle collision. The call was then turned over to another male who claimed to be a lawyer. He told the victim that she must immediately send funds in order for her son to be released”.
This is a version of the “Grandparent Scam“. This scam shows up far too frequently across Canada and North America. The basic premise is to prey on people and their emotional attachment to their family members.
The mother was instructed to attend to her bank and withdraw $6,000 and then deposit the money into another account to facilitate the release of her son from jail. The victim withdrew the money and sent it as directed. The victim made contact with her son later that day who indicated he was not in trouble and they contacted OPP to report the scam.
If anyone should receive a call in this manner, please contact your immediate family and inquire if anyone is in need of assistance. These types of calls play on a person’s emotions and create a sense of urgency which then creates distress to the recipient. Keep calm and DO NOT forward any funds without speaking to family members first.
The OPP are reminding everyone to be extremely vigilant and to be alert for unsolicited calls, emails, faxes or visitors that arrive at your residence.
The OPP state that “Modern, tech savvy, scammers have personal information about you before they ever try to contact you. It is imperative to verify any unsolicited contact BEFORE you respond and provide information. Keep your guard up when you receive a surprise call from anyone soliciting funds and indicating that a loved one is in jail or have been involved in a serious incident.
“You work hard for you money, so work hard to protect it. Do not hand it over to a smooth talking con artist. Fraud is a multi-billion dollar per year business that will only stop when the con artists stop making money”.
Anyone with information regarding this incident or similar instances should immediately contact the Ontario Provincial Police at 1 – 888 – 310 – 1122. Should you wish to remain anonymous, you may call Crime Stoppers at 1 – 800 – 222 – 8477 (TIPS) or leave an anonymous online message at firstname.lastname@example.org where you may be eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $2,000 or go to www.crimestoppersquinte.ca