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HomeWorldGuelph couple arrested after series of fraudulent calls to grandparentsNews WAALI

Guelph couple arrested after series of fraudulent calls to grandparentsNews WAALI

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Waterloo Regional Police have arrested a 20-year-old and a 16-year-old from Guelph after officers received 14 reports of grandparent fraud in a single day.

In one of the incidents, the victim discovered the scam and called the police.

The 82-year-old Cambridge resident was contacted by scammers who claimed her grandson is in jail and needs $15,000 to be released on bail.

Officers advanced to the area to intercept the transaction and arrested the two individuals. Both were charged with fraud.


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During the grandparent or emergency scam, the scammer contacts the victim and claims that it is an arrested grandchild who needs money to get out of prison. While the scammer can claim to be any family member, they generally pose as grandchildren seeking help from their grandparents, who appear to be particularly vulnerable to this scam, Waterloo Regional Police said.

Typically, a call is made by a scammer claiming to be the victim’s grandchild, explaining that they were arrested after a car accident or a traffic stop where drugs were found in the car. The caller is asking for money to get out of prison. The victim is then handed over to a second scammer posing as a police officer or lawyer who instructs the victim not to discuss the matter with anyone due to a “gag order” as they could jeopardize the case or face legal consequences themselves.

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The scammer then instructs the victim to go to their bank to receive the money and trains the victim to tell bank officials that the money is for home renovations to avoid suspicion of fraud. Scammers also pose as a courier to collect the funds, or instruct victims to send the money via legitimate courier to an address, usually in a different city or province.


Here are tips from the police:

  • Take time to think. Scammers will make the incident sound urgent in order to urge victims to act quickly and without reasoning. Scammers make victims focus on helping their grandchild and do not evaluate the unrealistic nature of the story presented.
  • As emotions run high for vulnerable victims facing a crisis, reach out to the relevant family member or other trusted person to help. Usually, scammers instruct victims not to talk to anyone about the incident in order to manipulate them. However, this type of scam can usually be foiled with a phone call to the affected family member to confirm their well-being.
  • Ask scammers verification questions that only family members would know.
  • Call someone you trust or the police to get an opinion on the incident. Police will never direct the public to deceive bank employees about the nature of the incident or the intended use of funds. The police will never ask you to receive cash or send cash to a third party by courier or any other means.
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