“Emergency” or “Grandparent” Scam targets seniors in Sudbury

The Greater Sudbury Police Service is aware of a scam that is active in Ontario and other parts of the country. The “Emergency” or “Grandparent” Scam targets senior / vulnerable adults. 

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Center (formerly known as Phone Busters) collects information and criminal intelligence on marketing frauds and other scams – they are managed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Ontario Provincial Police. In regards to this particular scam, the Center explains that “traditionally operating as a telemarketing scam throughout North America, fraudsters contact potential victims while posing as a family member or friend in urgent need of cash. Often the scenario involves an accident or arrest while travelling abroad, with a request that cash be sent through a money transfer company”. 

In most cases, the suspect calls the victim claiming to be their “grandson” or “granddaughter”. The conversation is meant to confuse the victim to the point where they believe the call is legitimate.

There is one confirmed call made to a Sudbury citizen (did not send the money requested) which indicates that more calls could be expected. 

Preventative tips:

• Anyone caring for senior / vulnerable adults should make them aware of this scam and the potential loss should they decide to send out money without confirming the identity of the caller.
• Those receiving a similar call should definitely check with other family members to confirm it is a loved one that needs the assistance, before any money is sent out.
• When the call is received, the potential victim should ask the caller personal questions that only a close family member would know the answers to. Do not rely on what the caller tell you over the phone – they may have obtained personal details by accessing the internet.
• If you are a victim of this scam, contact police.

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