‘Grandparent’ scam losses in Oakville, Burlington, Milton over $115,000 in a week


Published October 6, 2022 at 2:57 pm

Halton Regional Police are warning residents of persistent and increasing “emergency scams” occurring across Halton Region. PEXELS PHOTO

Oakville, Burlington, Milton and Halton Hills residents are once again being warned about persistent and increasing “emergency scams” occurring across Halton Region.

The “Grandparent” scams normally target older adults. According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, it has received 22 reports from Ontario alone between Sept. 26 and Oct. 3, dinging residents to the tune of over $115,000.

Over the same time period across Canada, the Centre says it has received over 420 reports with losses totalling over $520,000.

A typical emergency scam begins when an older person gets a phone from someone claiming to be their grandchild.

The caller tells the older adult that they are in trouble, such as being involved in a car accident or they have been put in jail, and they need money immediately.

At times, the older person will get calls from two people. One claiming to be a loved one and the other acting as a lawyer or police officer.

“The caller will ask the potential victim a series of leading questions which prompts them to volunteer personal information,” said Halton police. “Typically, they will ask for money to be delivered in cash to a ‘bail bondsman’ or an ’employee of a law firm/court.’

“Victims often don’t verify the caller’s story until after the money has been given to the fraudster.”

Halton police are providing the following tips to help local residents avoid being victimized by these types of scams:

  • If you suspect you are being contacted by a fraudster, call the HRPS at 905-825-4777 or 911 if it is an emergency
  • If you are at a bank, do not lie to the teller – tell them why you are retrieving the cash.  Employees are trained to assist you in recognizing possible frauds
  • Attempt to verify the caller’s identity – do not volunteer any information, and further 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.
  • Remember – Fraudsters will count on your good will to act quickly and help a loved one. Take your time and use above noted tips to protect yourself. Police, lawyers and the court will never ask you to give money to someone at your door.

Additional information on frauds and scams can be found here, or through the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website.

Anyone with information pertaining to a fraud is asked to contact the Regional Fraud Bureau Intake Office at 905-465-8741 or [email protected].

Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or through their website at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca.



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