L&A OPP SEEING SPIKE IN THE 'EMERGENCY/GRANDPARENT' SCAM
(L&A COUNTY, ON) - The Lennox and Addington (L&A) Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) has responded to multiple reports of the Grandparent scam this week. The scammers have targeted seniors by playing upon their emotions and fear of a grandchild being hurt or in trouble.
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. In some cases, someone pretending to be a lawyer or police officer may also be part of the phone call.
The victim may be told to withdraw a sum of money and leave it in a mailbox, on a doorstep, send the money in the mail or even meet up with a person pretending to be the lawyer.
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 not to 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 will 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 giving 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.
Acting Sergeant Erin Cranton
East Region Media Coordinator