The Northumberland Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) have received several calls this week from concerned citizens who are experiencing “Grandparent scam” phone calls.
The Northumberland OPP want residents to be aware of a scam where criminals are targeting grandparents, and what you can do to help protect yourself.
The scam has several iterations, however, it generally works like this:
Scammers will contact their victims by phone, claiming to be their grandchild, a lawyer, or a police officer, representing their grandchild. They will then make the victim believe their grandchild has been arrested and needs help, in the form of bail money, otherwise they will go directly to jail.
The victim will be instructed to go to their banking institution and withdraw cash to pay for their grandchild’s bail.
The scammers will then obtain the address of the victim, and physically attend the residence to collect the funds, posing as a courier or representative of the court.
Here are some tips to help navigate this scam:
- Do not provide your home address
- Do not provide any banking or personal information
- Ask for a number to call them back
- Ask for the address of the courthouse or police station they are being held at
- Phone your local police service and report the incident immediately
If you know a grandparent, please reach out to them, and have a conversation on what to do if they get a phone call like this.