SURREY RCMP on Tuesday warned the public that “grandson scams” are on the rise and seniors are being targeted.
In the month of January, Surrey RCMP received 10 complaints of fraud specific to “grandson scams” in which three senior citizens fell victim and lost a total of $139,000.
This fraud usually involves a suspect calling a senior citizen pretending to be a law enforcement officer, lawyer, or the person’s grandson. The suspect tells them that their grandson has been arrested and requires bail money. In two of the three successful scams, someone actually attended the elderly person’s home to collect cash, debit and/or credit cards.
Police advise that in order to protect the seniors in your life, talk to them and educate them about the most recent scams, which includes the “grandson scam.”
Some tips to prevent you from falling victim to a scam include:
- Never provide any personal information over the phone
- Always verify who is calling. You can do this by calling the person back on the phone number you have for them
- Do not send money or provide credit card information to someone calling and asking for bail money
- Ask a trusted friend or family member for their opinion on the phone call.
“Fraud of any type is concerning; however, targeting a senior and taking advantage of their emotions is despicable,” said Constable Sarbjit K. Sangha, Media Relations Officer. “We urge everyone to do their part and educate seniors in your life to help prevent them from falling victims to these scams.”
If you were a victim of this scam, make a report to your local police even if no money was given. For a list of current scams or to report fraud online visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.