The scourge that won’t go away.
Fraudulent phone scammers are getting more than just pushy when making demands for cash.
“It’s taken on a whole new twist,” says Barrie Police spokesperson Peter Leon. “We’re getting information back from complainants where threats are being made against family members where they’re threatening to do bodily harm against them.”
Making such threats is criminal, but Leon says the difficulty police have is that the number that shows up is not the number when you try calling back that it goes to.
“Some of them have phone numbers that are more than just the area code and seven-digit number that we are used to dialing.”
Again, police say the best advice is if you don’t recognize the number then don’t answer the phone and if you do pick up, and the call becomes threatening, then hang up.
“I think the fraudsters themselves are starting to get a little bit frustrated,” says Leon. “They’re trying to take it to a different kind of level.”
“They know we’re on to them, and they are going to do something a bit different.”
On July 22, a Quebec man was charged in relation to a number of recent grandparent scams in the Barrie area.
The Barrie Police fraud unit made the arrest after investigating several occurrences where the victim receives a call from an individual who claims to be a police officer or an employee with court services. The caller tells the victim that their grandchild is in trouble and has been arrested and requests money to secure bail for the grandchild.
Over a five-day period beginning Monday, July 18, nearly $90,000 was lost through the grandparent scam.
Police arrested the suspect as he attempted to collect money from another victim.
He is facing multiple fraud and property-related charges.