Grandparent scams are common scams that target seniors and usually involve a phone call from someone who pretends to be a grandchild or a lawyer calling on their behalf. If you get a call like this, be prepared. The scammer may already know your grandchild’s name and what your grandchild calls you (for example, a nickname like Nona or Grampy).
Acting as your grandchild, the scammer claims to be in trouble and asks for your help. The scammer may try to convince you that your grandchild was in a car accident or has been arrested and needs bail money. You may be asked to wire money, buy gift cards, have a courier pick up cash, or send Bitcoin right away. They may use tactics such as urgency, secrecy, and pressure to convince the grandparent to send money.
They pull at your heartstrings so they can trick you into sending money before you realize it is a scam. To make the story seem more credible, the caller might also put another person on the phone to act like a police officer or lawyer.
Fortunately, there are a few simple steps that you can take to avoid falling victim to this scam:
For more information on scams contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online at www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca or toll-free at 1-888-495-8501. If you believe you may be the victim of fraud or have given personal or financial information unwittingly, contact your local police detachment.