EMERGENCY SCAM – Grandparent scam active once again

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Detachments from across the East Region of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) continue to remind individuals to be aware of ongoing frauds and scams. Take the time to conduct research, ask questions and take a minute before sending gift cards or money.

On November 5, 2021 the Upper Ottawa Valley OPP Detachment received a report from an individual in the Pembroke area who had been targeted by the emergency scam.

The victim received a call advising her that her daughter had been involved with police and was in custody. The scammer was attempting to make arrangement for the release of their daughter and $9000 needed to be sent immediately to facilitate the court process. The scammer identified himself as a police officer.

The victim then spoke to someone on the phone who was crying, claiming to be her daughter, who requested this to be kept secret so as to avoid further trouble.

The victim did not transfer the money and contacted several family members to get assistance with this suspicious call. Subsequently, the victim contacted her daughter and confirmed she had not been involved in any such incident.

As a reminder, here are some red flags to identify frauds and scams:

  • Often times, there will be a request not to tell anyone, to keep it a secret to avoid further trouble
  • Request for gift cards or cryptocurrency
  • Urgent request for action or information
  • Request for banking information
  • Unsolicited attempts at selling products or services

Tips on how to protect yourself:

  • Be careful what you post online. Scammers can use details shared on social media platforms and dating sites for targeting purposes.
  • Be suspicious of telephone calls that require you to immediately take action and request bail money for a family member in distress. Contact the family member directly for confirmation.
  • Be careful with caller IDs that look familiar. Scammers may use technology to disguise the actual number they are calling from (“spoof”) and make it appear as a trusted number.
  • Never give personal identifiable information or money to anyone you have only communicated with by telephone or online.

Remember: fraudsters are sneaky and sly.
Knowledge is Power!

OPP encourages anyone who feels that he/she may be the target of a scam, or know of someone who has, to contact local police and/or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 – Fraud: Recognize. Report. Reject. www.antifraudcentre.ca

Anyone having information on the above incidents or any other crime is asked to call SD&G OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS(8477), or you can submit a tip online at www.ontariocrimestoppers.ca

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