The SPVM would like to make the community aware of a type of fraud that is targeting senior citizens called the Grandparent scam.
In this scam, the scammer will call the senior citizen claiming to be a family member in distress. They will ask the senior if they know who is calling, and then assume that identity. Typically, the fraudster will say that they are in some sort of trouble and urgently need money to resolve their emergency. (Examples – International trouble, claim to be stuck in a foreign country needing money to get back home, Legal trouble – they have been arrested and need bail money, Medical trouble – they’ve been in an accident and have been injured or injured someone else). They will then ask the senior to send cash or a bank transfer, playing on the emotions of the senior citizen using the urgency of the situation to help their loved one in order to convince them to hand over the money.
The SPVM is advising the community to be vigilant when receiving calls of this nature. When in doubt, ask the caller a personal question that only that family member would know (like where they were born, or a specific family memory). Never transfer or give money to the caller, and report all suspicious calls to your community police station at 514 280-0101, or contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre by calling 1-888-495-8501 or visiting their website at antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca.