Quebec man arrested while in midst of allegedly trying to pull off ’emergency’ scam in Burlington

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Published October 18, 2022 at 4:03 pm

Halton police have made an arrest related to a “grandparent ” or “emergency” style scam being operated in Burlington.

This scam is a type of fraud that has been an ongoing trend across Halton resulting in many community members being victimized.

On Monday, Oct. 17, the police were made aware of a scam in progress. After showing up at the prospective victim’s house, they made an arrest.

The suspect attended this location in order to collect $9,000 cash from a victim for the alleged and fabricated bail of her child. This is a theme often used by fraudsters throughout the GTA.

Kevin Murenzi, 24, of Gatineau, QC, has been charged with fraud over $5,000, and obstructing a peace officer.

Investigators are asking anyone who has information or may have also been victimized to contact the Regional Fraud Unit – Intake Office at 905-825-4777 ext. 8741.

Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or at the website.

Emergency, or grandparent, scams typically involve the victim receiving an unsolicited phone call regarding a loved one being in distress. The perpetrators falsely identify themselves as a loved one, or impersonate a police officer and/or other participants of the criminal justice system (such a lawyers, bailiffs, and “bondsman”), falsely claiming that the loved one is in police custody as a result of a specific incident.

They request a large sum of money to have the supposed loved one released from custody, or to pay for associated bills/fines accrued as a result of the alleged incident. The funds requested can be in the form of a direct cash payment, bank transfers, various gift cards, and digital currency. While the scam is ongoing, and the payments are being made, the perpetrators will on occasion use the threat of a fictitious “gag order” to prevent the victim from discussing the matter with anyone else.

Tips to protect yourself

  • Attempt to verify the caller’s identity. Do not volunteer any information. Ask very specific probing questions about the caller.
  • Request to call back the initial caller – then independently find the number of the police service (or other purported agency in question) and call them directly to clarify the situation. If unsure, call your local police service and ask them for assistance.
  • Attempt to directly call the loved one in question and clarify the matter with them.
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