Beware of grandparent scam, warn Peel Police

grandparent scam
Grandparent scam: How it happens.

The Canadian Bazaar

MISSISSAUGA: Peel Police are warning people about what they call emergency scam.

In an emergency scam, grandparents are targeted by scamsters.

The scamsters call grandparents by posing as their grandchild who has met with an accident or been arrested.

The worried grandparents may then receive a follow-up call from fake lawyer/police officer.

Their modus operandi is play on emotions of grandparents to get money, police warn.

So if you get such calls, always verify info and call other relatives to confirm whether news is true.

According to the Canadian Anti-fraud Centre, this is how a typical emergency scam – also called grandparent scam – happens:

A grandparent receives a phone call from a con-artist claiming to be one of his or her grandchildren. The caller goes on to say that they are in some kind of trouble and need money immediately. Typically they claim being in a car accident, trouble returning from a foreign country or they need bail money.

A typical call can go something like this:

Con-artist: Hi, Grandma/grandpa.

Victim: Hi.

Con-artist: Do you know who is this?

Victim: John?

Con-artist: Yeah.

Victims don’t verify the story until after the money has been sent as the caller specifically asks that they do not want other relatives to know what has happened by asking “Can you please help me? I’m in jail (or in the hospital / or in some type of financial need). But don’t tell Dad. He would kill me if he found out, please send the money ASAP. I’m scared”

Wanting to help their grandchild, the victim sends money by a money transfer company such as Money Gram or Western Union.

Variations on the scam exist such as an old neighbour, a friend of the family etc. but predominantly the emergency scam is directed toward the Grandparents.

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