OPP in Morrisburg and Ottawa police have arrested two scam artists who used the "emergency/grandparent scam" to defraud victims.
They recently charged a man and a woman in relation to five incidents of the 'grandparent scam' where victims were defrauded a combined $46,000.
Jason Goulet-Fernandez, 22, and Danielle Jimenez-Golez, 19, both from Montreal, were both charged with:
Fraud over $5,000
Possession of proceeds of crime
Conspiracy to commit an indictable offence
The Ottawa Police Service has received over 10 complaints from victims where they have been defrauded of over $100,000.
Due to the seriousness of the series of offences and vulnerability of those impacted, the OPS is releasing images of the offenders in hopes of identifying any other victims.
Anyone with information is asked to contact 613-236-1222, extension 5292. Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers toll-free 1-800-222-8477 or at crimestoppers.ca.
In the typical emergency scam, the victim will receive a frantic phone call from someone claiming to be a grandchild or loved one. The caller will explain that they are involved in some sort of mishap like a car accident or are having trouble returning from a foreign country and need money right away. The scammer will often insist that the victim does not tell anyone.
Be careful what you post online. Scammers can use details shared on social media platforms and dating sites. They can search your online accounts to find real names, real interests, real phone numbers and when you are going to be home or away.
Be aware of some warning signs:
· Urgency-- The scammer always makes the request sound very urgent, which may cause the victim to not verify the story.
· Fear-- The scammer plays on the victim's emotions by generating a sense of fear. For instance they may say, "I am scared and I need help from you."
· Secrecy-- The scammer pleads with the victim not to tell anyone about the situation, such as, "Please don't tell Dad, he would be so mad."
· Request for Money -- Money can be requested by money transfer or in some cases the scammer sends someone to your home to pick up the payment.
To avoid becoming a victim, 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.
If you or someone you know may have been the victim of an 'emergency' scam, contact the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS). You can also report the information to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) at www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca.