(BLIND RIVER, ON)-Members from the East Algoma Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) would like to remind everyone to please do your homework prior to giving any personal information, money, or sending prepaid iTunes cards to anyone. Every year thousands of Canadians are victimized, and millions of dollars are lost through many forms of fraud.
Emergency/Grandparent Scam is Prevalent in East Algoma:
In a typical “emergency” scam, the victim receives a phone call or e-mail from someone claiming to be a friend or relative, like a grandchild in distress. The caller or e-mailer goes on to indicate that they are in some kind of trouble, such as being in a car crash, they need money for bail, or they are having trouble returning from a foreign country. The fraudster specifically asks that the victims not to tell other relatives. The victim may get a call from two people, one pretending to be their grandchild and the other pretending to be either a police officer or a lawyer. The “grandchild” asks questions during the call, getting victims to volunteer personal information. Victims (often seniors) generally don’t verify the story until after their money has been sent or they have provided access to personal banking or credit card information to the criminals.
On July 8, 2022, OPP received a complaint regarding a fraud (which was a version of the emergency/grandparent scam) that involved the victim’s grandson who was in a car crash that involved another vehicle, and the female was injured. The scammer posed as a police officer and attended the victim’s residence in plain clothes and picked up an envelope containing a large amount of cash.
Later that day, the scammer contacted the victims again and stated that the female who was injured in the car accident was pregnant and would drop the charges against the grandson for a sum of $15,000. The victim requested to speak with their grandson. The scammer indicated the grandson was under a gag order and could not speak until he was released.
The grandson was never in police custody and unfortunately the victim’s hard-earned money was gone.
At no time will a police officer request you to go to your bank and take out any amount of money to bring home. Nor will a police officer attend your house to collect any amount of money for someone’s release.
To guard against becoming a victim, police advise you to first check with another family member or trusted friend to verify the information BEFORE sending money or providing credit card information by phone, e-mail or in person. It is important that the incident be reported every time it occurs to allow police to investigate.
If you suspect you may be the victim of fraud or have been tricked into giving personal or financial information, contact your local OPP detachment at 1-888-310-1122, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or visit their website at: www.antifraudcentre.ca
FRAUD…Recognize it …Report it …Stop it.