Bad Guys Behind the Grandparent Scam Are Good At What They Do

Police Saying, Despite Repeated Warning, There Are Still Victims To This Age-Old Scam

Renewed warnings from the Barrie Police Service this week, as they’ve seen a resurgence of the Grandparent Scam.

That’s the one where someone calls an unsuspecting elderly person claiming to be a family member in desperate and immediate need of money, fleecing the grandparent out of sometimes thousands.

“…they’re so manipulative.”

It’s an old scam; it’s been around for a while, we’ve warned you about it plenty of times but there are still victims out there. That’s because, as Barrie Police Constable Nicole Rodgers says, these bad guys are great at what they do. “The people that are making these calls are so good at their job, they’re so manipulative. They know how to play on emotions. They know how to gather information without the person even realizing they’re giving the information to them. For example, with the Grandparent scam, they say “Hi, it’s your grandson.” and with that, the person goes “oh sorry, is that Johnny?” and the person goes “yes Johnny is here on the phone.””

It isn’t always the elderly that these people prey on, rather those who don’t understand modern technology and methods. “Somebody in their 80’s may not know what iTunes gift cards are, so they think that’s something the government uses to make payments these days. I think it’s the whole confusion factor that catches the elderly or those who are not up to date on technology.”

“Education is key…”

Another scam using similar methods is the CRA scam, whereby someone claiming to be from the Canada Revenue Agency demands payment on a non-existent debt. “Education is the key. Talking to them, making sure they know; making sure they know if something doesn’t seem right that it’s okay to hang up the phone and call another family member.” Rodgers says the scam artist may even prompt the grandparent to keep it a secret over issues of embarrassment.

Rodgers says there are plenty of resources through the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website you can use to educate yourself or a loved one on all the scams out there.