KENORA, ON) – Members of the Kenora Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) have received several reports of recent telephone frauds in the past week. The victims did not transfer any funds to the callers.
The fraud referred to as the “Emergency Scam” or “Grandparent Scam” has been around for years, but has recently been reported in the Kenora Area again. In the typical scenario, a person receives a phone call from a con-artist claiming to be one of his or her grandchildren or children. The caller will then claim they are in some type of trouble and need money immediately. Typically they claim to have been in a car accident or in trouble with police in a foreign country and need bail money.
A typical call can go something like this:
Con-artist: Hi, Grandma/Grandpa
Con-artist: Do you know who this is?
Con-artist: Yes, it is John.
Victims do not verify the story until after the money has been sent as the caller specifically asks that they do not want other relatives to know what has happened by asking “Can you please help me? I’m in jail (or hospital/or in some type of financial need) But don’t tell Dad. He would kill me if he found out, please send money quickly, I’m scared.”
Wanting to help their grandchild the victim sends money by credit card or a money transfer such as Money Gram or Western Union.
This scam has different variations, but is predominantly directed towards seniors.
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. Visit the OPP website opp.ca for this and other tips on protecting yourself and your family from fraud.
Anyone who receives a call like this is asked to report it to the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre:
- On-line: https://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca
- Toll Free: 1-888-495-8501
- Toll Free Fax: 1-888-654-9426
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Provincial Constable Laurie Harkof
Community Services / Media Relations
Phone: (807) 548 – 5534
Fax: (807) 548 – 8381