(Bradford/Innisfil, ON) South Simcoe Police Service is reminding residents to be vigilant following reports of recent telephone scams targeting seniors. Have a chat with loved ones about the following frauds. Know the signs in order to protect yourself.
The “Relative In Trouble Scam” or “Grandparent Scam”:
-Con artists call posing as a relative in trouble—usually a grandchild
-The caller gets you to guess their name first. When you “fill in the blank” with a name, they pretend to be that person
-The caller will say that they are in some kind of legal or financial trouble
-The caller will plead with you to wire money immediately
-Sometimes there will be another person involved who poses as a police officer, a lawyer or someone in authority to “confirm” the story
-The caller may give clear directions on how to get and wire the money
-The caller will often ask you to “not tell” anyone, especially other relatives
A local senior sent a money transfer after receiving a call about a grandchild in trouble. The victim realized afterwards that it was a fraud and called police. If you receive a call like this, verify the caller’s story by contacting the relative or calling your relative’s friends and parents.
-A telemarketer promises the victim anything from prizes and cheap vacations to amazing returns on investments
-Often these opportunities are framed as “limited time offers” and you must commit on the spot
-Sometimes the caller will tell you to keep the offer secret
-You may be bombarded with details meant confuse you
-Another con involves someone pretending to be from your bank, claiming that your account is at risk, and asking you to provide your bank card number and password
Another local senior reported to us about getting a call from a man who claimed the senior’s deceased spouse owed money. Then the caller changed tactics. He claimed he was from a well-known game show and said the senior could win millions of dollars, cars and other prizes if the senior paid a sum of cash to “register.” The scammer said a car would be sent to the senior’s home to pick up the money and deliver the prizes. When the senior asked for a number to call back later, the suspect stated it was a one-time opportunity. The senior assumed it was a scam, ended the call and contacted police.
Remember the following tips to protect yourself. Don’t be intimidated by high-pressure sales tactics. Watch out for urgent pleas that play on your emotions. If a telemarketer tries to get you to buy something or to send them money right away, request the information in writing or just hang up. Never give out personal information and don’t be afraid to say no. Trust your gut. If it feels wrong, it probably is.
If you are a victim of a scam, report it to police and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501. Visit their website for further information on scams and tips to prevent yourself from being a victim https://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/index-eng.htm.
On Thursday, February 25, 2021, South Simcoe Police Service officers responded to 74 calls for service.