Innisfil senior foils grandparent scam attempt

Police say this type of fraud continues to circulate in the community

An Innisfil senior called the cops on an alleged scammer.

South Simcoe Police (SSP) say the 74-year-old received a call from a person claiming his nephew was in jail and needed $10,000 in bail money. The senior was suspicious and called the police.

No arrest has been made.

Police say March is Fraud Prevention Month and this type of fraud continues to circulate in the community.

“Emergency or grandparent scams prey on your fear of a loved one being hurt or in trouble,” SSP said in a news release on Tuesday. “Typically, fraudsters will claim to be law enforcement officials, lawyers or pose as the grandchild/family member. They use urgency and threats to prey on your emotions to make you act immediately. They claim there is a “gag order” preventing you from telling anyone about the situation. If you agree to pay the requested amount, fraudsters will arrange to pick up the funds in person or will ask you to send cash in the mail.”

 The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre has the following tips on how to protect yourself:

• If you receive a phone call claiming to be from a family member in an emergency situation, hang up the phone and contact them directly using a phone number you already have – not one provided by the suspected fraudster
• If the caller claims to be a law enforcement official, hang up and call your local police directly, using a phone number from a reputable source – not one provided by the suspected fraudster
• Be suspicious of telephone calls that require you to immediately act and request money for a family member in distress
• Listen to that inner voice that is screaming at you “This doesn’t sound right”
• It is important to know the Canadian Criminal Justice System does not allow for someone to be bailed out of jail with cash or cryptocurrency
• Be careful what you post online
o Scammers can get details that you shared on social media platforms and dating sites to target you or get names and details about your loved ones
• Don’t trust caller ID names and numbers.
Scammers use technology to disguise the actual number they are calling from and can make it appear as a trusted phone number, also known as spoofing

Always report fraud and fraud attempts to police and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre Be aware that these types of scams can target anyone, not just seniors or grandparents. The South Simcoe Police Service encourages residents to speak with family members about this type of scam.