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Innisfil woman victim of grandparent scam

Police provide tips to avoid being defrauded
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The South Simcoe Police Service is issuing another warning about the grandparent scam, also known as emergency frauds.

The latest victim is an 87-year-old Innisfil woman who received a call from someone posing as an RCMP officer. The fake officer then handed the phone to someone claiming to be the victim’s grandson.

The incident followed the typical pattern of the scam where the imposter grandchild tearfully says he/she was arrested and needs money for bail. The scam usually involves a second person on the phone posing as a police officer, lawyer or court employee. A court “courier” or “agent” collects the cash at the victim’s home using a “code” provided to the victim by the scammers. Victims are warned not to speak to anyone about the case as it is under a “gag order.”

Emergency scams prey on your fear of a loved one being hurt or in trouble and rely on your immediate emotional reaction. Scammers are skilled at gleaning personal information from you in order to tailor the fraud to your situation.

The South Simcoe Police Service urges seniors to avoid sharing personal information, particularly on social media. If you receive such a call, report it to police so we can investigate and warn others. We urge residents to talk to older loved ones about these frauds and discuss how to avoid becoming a victim with these tips:

  • Hang up and verify the story by calling the parents or other family member
  • Resist the urge to act immediately and never give out personal information
  • Being told not to tell anyone about the call is a red flag
  • Police remind everyone that in Canada, there is no cash bail system. You will never be required to provide cash, gift cards, e-transfer, or any other form of immediate payment to secure bail
  • If you speak to someone who claims to be a police officer, hang up and call the law enforcement agency to verify the person’s identity
  • Remember, if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.