The OPP says it’s concerned about a fraud known as the “grandparent scam.”
Killaloe OPP says they continue to receive calls from community members who have been targeted.
The scammers call seniors pretending to be a grandchild or other family member in distress.
“The caller will use high-pressure tactics to convince the victim they are in some type of trouble and funds are immediately required to assist them,” police say. “The caller may also pose as a justice official or police officer to convince the victim a grandchild or other family member needs immediate funds to rectify a legal problem.”
Police offer several tips; they are as follows:
- Individuals should always use caution if they are being pressured for information or to send money quickly. Scammers often try to bully victims into transferring money through a mobile payment app, by wiring money or by purchasing gift cards or money orders. Some may even request to meet to receive money in person.
- Call your grandchild or another family member to verify the claims or requests.
- Set a safe word or phrase with family members that includes details only you would know. Ask for this word or phrase to confirm if the person calling is your relative
- Fraudsters may call to demand immediate payment for bail, fines, or to avoid going to jail. Remember that the courts will not ask for cash to bail someone in custody and will require people to be present at court.
- Court-appointed couriers do not exist. If someone asks to come to your home to pick up a payment, it’s a scam.
- Always ask for proof of identification and call back numbers.
- Be suspicious of calls that require immediate action. Hang up, call your local police service, and contact the family member directly.
- If you receive a call like this, do not send money. Using high-pressure tactics usually means it’s a scam.
For more information, visit the Canadian Anti Fraud Centre’s website .