THUNDER BAY – NEWS – The Thunder Bay Police Service are warning the public of grandparent scams that are targeting Thunder Bay residents and include scammers operating within this city.
The grandparent scam is relatively common. Typically, the would-be victim is contacted by a fraudster pretending to be their grandchild. The scammer tells the victim they’ve been arrested and require money to post bail.
Fraudsters may claim to be a family member of the victim, or a representative of the family member.
These fraudsters are often experts at creating a sense of urgency and panic. If asked why they don’t sound like the target’s grandchild, the fraudster will often attribute it to an injury like a broken nose.
In some recently reported cases, a fake courier is sent to the victim’s home to collect the emergency money for the family member. This courier is believed to be a suspect connected to the scam.
Scams involving in-person contact between victim and accused are rare, but represent extra concern for the victim’s safety. If you find yourself face-to-face with a suspected scammer, please get to a place of safety and call 9-1-1.
If you are contacted by a suspected scammer by any other means, please remember that the best way to avoid being victimized is to hang up the phone. You can then attempt to reach the family member alleged to be in trouble on your own terms to verify the story.
The fraudster may attempt to dissuade a victim from doing this by claiming the money is required immediately. This is a common tactic to prevent victims from practicing due diligence, and should be viewed as strong evidence that a scam is taking place.
Please take time to speak to your more vulnerable friends and family members who may be more aggressively targeted by these kinds of scams.
To learn more about frauds and scams visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre here: https://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca.