OPP warn of grandparent scam after two incidents in Dufferin

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Members of the Dufferin Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are warning residents to be cautious of the Grandparent Scam following two close calls for families.

On July 18, at approximately 1:30 p.m., Dufferin OPP received a call for service from an elderly person who felt that they were possibly being taken advantage of.

When officers arrived, they discovered that the person had received a phone call from an individual posing as a lawyer who said that a “bail bondsman” was on the way to their home to pick up cash for their relative’s bail.

The “lawyer” then put a male posing as the relative on the phone to explain that they had been arrested and needed the bail money.

The person went to the bank and withdrew a large sum of money. The person then grew suspicious that this might be a scam and called the police. The officers assured the person that this was indeed a scam and assisted them in putting the money back into the bank.

At approximately 2:45 p.m., on the same date, Dufferin OPP responded to a second residence for an elderly person who had received the same type of phone call. The person withdrew a large sum of money to pay to an individual who had called them to report an urgent situation requiring money. The person grew suspicious and called the police as they felt that this may be a scam. Again, the officers assured them that this was a scam and assisted with returning their money back to the bank.

It is common for people to feel embarrassed initially when they feel that they are being scammed. Therefore, these types of incidents are under reported. However, there is nothing to be ashamed of as the people that are making these phone calls are determined to get your money and are good at it. Dufferin OPP is grateful that these phone calls were reported yesterday and that there were not financially disastrous outcomes for these families.

Grandparent/Emergency Frauds

In a typical emergency scam, the victim will receive a frantic phone call from someone claiming to be a grandchild or loved one. Quite often the calls are made in the middle of the night to cause further confusion and to come across as extremely urgent. Scammers will often state that they are not feeling well, therefore, sound a bit different. The caller will explain that they are involved in some sort of trouble with the law or have trouble

returning from a foreign country and need money right away.

The scammers will often request an electronic money transfer or money to be withdrawn and picked up by a courier service.

Be aware of emergency scam warning signs

Urgency: The scammer always makes the request sound very urgent, which may cause the victim to not verify the story.

Fear: The scammer plays on the victim’s emotions by generating a sense of fear. For instance, they may say, “I’m really scared and I need help from you now.”

Secrecy: The scammer pleads with the victim not to tell anyone about the situation, such as, “Please don’t tell my parents, they would be so mad.”

To avoid becoming a victim, police advise to first check with another family member or trusted friend to verify the information before sending money.

For more information regarding ongoing scams in Canada or to report fraud, visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at http://antifraudcentre.ca/.

If you believe you have been a victim of fraud, call Dufferin OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

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