Stratford Police Services Seeing Increase in Grandparent Scams

  • Community   Tuesday, January 24, 2023   

Over the last several weeks the Stratford Police Service has seen an increase in reports of “Grandparent Scams”, with one victim being stopped from withdrawing several thousand dollars when the staff at the BMO in St Marys recognized the customer was being scammed. 

Grandparent Scams typically occur when the victim receives a phone call from an individual who is posing as their grandchild. The scammer frantically explains that they are in trouble, stating that there has been an accident, they have been arrested, or there is some other emergency. After explaining the emergency, the scammer urgently requests money to be sent to help them with the situation. 

The scammer typically solicits information by beginning the phone call by stating, “Grandma(pa) it’s me, I’m in trouble!” After being provided a name of a grandchild who the victim believes the scammer to be, the scammer continues to solicit other information from the victim, while urgently asking for money, and asking the victim not to tell anyone what had happened. 

To protect yourself from these types of frauds, we ask you to follow these tips: 

- Never offer information to the caller, e.g. do not say the person’s name before they identify themselves; 

- Ask the caller personal questions that only that person would know; 

- Hang up the phone and attempt to contact another family member to confirm the whereabouts of your grandchild(ren); 

- Never send money for payments by way of gift cards. 

If you have received a call of this nature, you are encouraged to file a report through the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501, or if you have experienced a financial loss, please contact the Stratford Police at 519-271-4141. Otherwise, please spread the word about these types of frauds and others. By creating awareness, we can all play a part in fraud prevention!