(LITTLE CURRENT, ON) – On February 11, 2020 members of the Manitoulin Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) received a call from an 86-year-old grandparent who had been asked to send a large quantity of money to their grandchild who had been in a “collision” and needed money. The victim withdrew the money from their bank account and sent it to the address requested by the criminal fraudster.
Manitoulin OPP and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre were able to intercept the package, and the money has been returned to the victim.
In a typical “emergency” scam, the victim receives a phone call or e-mail from someone claiming to be a friend or relative, like a grandchild in distress. The caller or e-mailer goes on to indicate that they are in some kind of trouble, such as being in a car crash, they need money for bail, or they are having trouble returning from a foreign country. The fraudster specifically asks that the victims not to tell other relatives. The victim may get a call from two people, one pretending to be their grandchild and the other pretending to be either a police officer or a lawyer. The “grandchild” asks questions during the call, getting victims to volunteer personal information. Victims (often seniors) generally don’t verify the story until after their money has been sent or they have provided access to personal banking or credit card information to the criminals.
To guard against becoming a victim, police advise you to first check with another family member or trusted friend to verify the information BEFORE sending money or providing credit card information by phone or e-mail. It is important that the incident be reported every time it occurs, to allow police to investigate.
If you receive any fraudulent communication you should file a report with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) toll-free at 1-888-495-8501, or online at http://www.antifraudcentre.ca/. You can also contact the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or your nearest police authority.
For more information on current and ongoing frauds you can visit the following link:
Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre http://www.antifraudcentre.ca/