Clearview Township resident falls prey to ‘Grandparent Scam’

A woman was told her grandson had been arrested and cash would be required to secure his release

A Clearview Township woman has been defrauded for $22,000 in the so-called ‘Grandparent Scam”.

Huronia West OPP say they were contacted by the victim after she received a call from someone claiming to be with the RCMP. She said she was told her grandson had been arrested and $10,000 would be required to secure his release. The woman agreed to the payment and arrangements were made for it to be picked up that afternoon.

The next morning, a follow-up call requested an additional $12,000, which was also paid.

The OPP reminds everyone that officers will never contact family members to request money for their loved ones to be released from custody. If you should receive one of these calls, please hang up and contact your local police service to report it.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call Huronia West OPP at 1-888-310-1122, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or https://ontariocrimestoppers.ca/.

South Simcoe Police have also received reports of various frauds.

  • A resident received a call from someone claiming to be from the Canada Revenue Agency demanding payment of an unpaid debt. The fraudster was spoofing the South Simcoe Police Service phone number and requested payment in an iTunes gift card. The resident recognized this was a scam and hung up the phone.
  • A resident was contacted via a messaging app by someone posing as their boss. The fraudster instructed the employee to buy iTunes gift cards and provide the codes to him by email. The employee complied but later learned from the real boss that he never sent any messages.
  • A resident called a 1-800 phone number in a pop-up after their computer crashed. Turns out it was fraudsters, who had the person change all passwords on the computer while the suspect still had control. The resident then received a call from a fake technical support worker at the bank, saying the person’s account was compromised, and enlisted help to catch a crooked employee. The fraudster had the person set a “trap” by wiring a sum of money to an overseas account. The person complied, realizing too late it was an elaborate scam.
  • There are also the relentless texts we received on smartphones trying countless ways to get people to click on a link. Don’t.

Fraudsters continue to come up with new ways to try to trick you into parting with your hard-earned cash. They prey on our busy lives or an in-the-moment vulnerability.

Remember these tips to recognize and prevent frauds:

  • Always validate the legitimacy of online requests or phone calls and contact the sender to confirm the source is legitimate.
  • If a phone number from someone demanding payment appears to be a police service, hang up and call the police service
  • Remember that official agencies will never ask for gift cards as payment.
  • Resist pressure to act quickly and ask the caller if you can call them back.
  • Trust your instincts. If it feels wrong, it probably is.
  • Contact the police or someone you trust if you have any doubts.
  • Just take a moment, step back from the situation and disengage. Time is on your side.
  • Never share personal information with anyone you don’t know over the phone or the internet.

Report incidents of fraud to police and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

Learn more about ongoing scams in Canada with the Little Black Book of Scams.

feature image via pxfuel

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