Thunder Bay Police Service has received multiple complaints recently indicating that locals are being targeted by the Grandparent Scam.
The grandparent scam is relatively common. Typically, the would-be victim is contacted by a fraudster pretending to be their grandchild. The scammer will tell the victim a story about how they are in trouble and in immediate need of money.
In the past, the stories have revolved around a grandchild being arrested or detained following a motor vehicle accident. The story could include details about a potential criminal or civil consequences.
The scammer may even have personal details about their target, which is meant to increase the credibility of the scam and induce panic in the target.
If you are contacted by a suspected scammer, 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.