Police warn Oakville, Burlington, Milton, Halton Hills seniors of ‘grandchild’ scam


Published January 28, 2022 at 1:11 pm

Halton Police say there has been a recent increase in “emergency scams” targeting seniors over the past few months. ANNA SHVETS PEXELS IMAGE

Halton Police are warning seniors in Oakville, Burlington, Milton and Halton Hills of a recent increase of emergency scams targeting them.

One such emergency scam that has been used over the last few months involves seniors receiving phone calls from someone claiming to be their grandchild.

The caller will explain they are in some kind of trouble, such as a car accident or locked in jail, and need money right away.

Victims, at times, will receive calls from two people with one claiming to be a loved one and the other a police officer or lawyer.

The caller will ask potential victims a series of leading questions which prompts them to volunteer personal information.

The fraudster will then make it clear they don’t want others to find out what happened and will then ask for money to be delivered in cash to a “bail bondsman” or an employee of the law firm/court.

Victims of the scam often don’t verify the caller’s story until after the money has been given to the fraudster.
The following are tips to protect yourself from emergency scams:
• If you suspect that you are being contacted by a fraudster call Halton Police at 905-825-4777 or 911 if it is an emergency.

  • If you are at the bank, do not lie—tell the bank employee why you are retrieving the cash.  The employees are trained to assist you in recognizing possible frauds and will help protect your money.
    • Remember: Scammers count on the fact that victims will want to act quickly to help their loved one in an emergency.
  • Caution: Never give money to anyone you don’t know and trust. Verify the person’s identity before you take any steps to help.
  • Think: Don’t give out any personal information to the caller.
  • Investigate: Ask the person questions that only your loved one would be able to answer. Call someone you both know to verify the story. Scammers can learn a lot about you from social media, or while talking to you on the phone.
  • Ask yourself: Does the caller’s story make sense?
  • Important: Police, lawyers and the court will never ask you to give money to someone at your door.

For additional information on emergency scams, https://www.haltonpolice.ca/en/staying-safe/frauds-and-scams.aspx?

Anyone with information pertaining to a fraud or any other crime is asked to contact the Regional Fraud Bureau Intake Office at 905-465-8741 or [email protected].

Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or on the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca.

insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising