Media Release. Friday, April 23, 2021.

Fraud Alert: The Grandparent Scam

(Bradford/Innisfil, ON) South Simcoe Police Service is reminding residents to be alert to a fraud targeting seniors called the Grandparent Scam.
On Thursday, April 22, 2021, we received a report of an incident involving an elderly couple in our area. Luckily, these seniors immediately hung up on the fraudsters and avoided being victims. They had received a phone call from someone who stated their grandson was in jail and needed them to pay $8,000 to get him out. The scammers let the seniors speak to their supposed “grandson.” The couple did the right thing by hanging up and calling a relative, who reported the incident to police.

Grandparent or Emergency Scams typically involve the victim receiving a frantic phone call or emergency email from someone claiming to a grandchild. The “grandchild” claims to be in trouble and needs money right away. Often the imposters will say they have been in a collision or arrested and in jail in another city or country. Grandparents will be asked to keep the call or email secret because the “grandchild” doesn’t want his/her parents to know. The scammers might put someone else on the phone to act like a police officer or lawyer to make the story seem more believable. The victim will be asked to wire money to the “grandchild.”

South Simcoe Police Service is urging residents to be vigilant and talk to elderly loved ones about this scam. Share these tips on how they can protect themselves:

Ask the caller questions that only your grandchild would know the answer
Hang up and verify the story by calling the parents or other family member
Resist the urge to act immediately

Grandparent or Emergency Scams prey on your fear of a loved one being hurt or in trouble. If you have received a call or email like this, report it to South Simcoe Police Service at 905-775-3322 or 705-436-2141.