OPP warns of “Grandson” phone scam targeting elderly women
Scam alert. (Gerd Altmann, Pixabay.com)
A phone scam has been making the rounds in the region targeting elderly females in rural areas.
Ontario Provincial Police released a warning today(Thursday) detailing three elaborate and organized scams that occurred the past week throughout the province.
Police say elderly women were called by a male claiming to be an officer and that their grandson had been arrested.
In all instances, bail money was requested for the grandsons whom the scammer claims were arrested with drugs in the vehicle while on their way to get a COVID test.
Police add that sometimes the scammers will get people to impersonate the grandson and to talk to their grandmother in a “congested voice”.
The scammers then get delivery services to pick up the money and will often inform targets to tell the bank the money is for renovations.
The statement goes on to say that police will never demand money to have someone arrested released from custody, for payment of a fine or involve a courier company to transport payments.
The summaries of all three incidents are as follows:
Details of 1st Incident:
- An 84-year-old female was contacted by a male claiming to be ‘Corporal MATHESON’ of (a Police Service).
- He stated that her grandson had been arrested after a minor vehicle collision with his friend where drugs were located in the vehicle.
- In order for him to be released, she had to provide $10,000.00 in cash.
- The female spoke to her grandson who told her he was sick and was on his way for a COVID test when the accident occurred explaining why he was stuffed up.
- The female provided the money which was picked up by a courier.
- The ‘officer’ called back the following day and informed her the charges were dropped but she would have to pay $12,000 for his fine.
- She did as instructed and a courier picked up the money.
Details of 2nd Incident:
- A 73-year-old female was contacted by a male alleging to be her grandson and that he was arrested after being pulled over in a vehicle that was driven by his friend and drugs were located.
- The female requested to speak to the officer and a male identified himself as ‘Constable JOHNSTON’.
- She was directed to withdraw $6,000.00 for bail which she did and was picked up by a courier.
- The following day the ‘officer’ told her an additional $9,000.00 would be required for the charges being dropped.
- The victim again obliged.
Details of 3rd Incident:
- An 83-year-old female was contacted by a male who identified himself as ‘Corporal MATHESON’ notifying her that her grandson was in custody as a result of a vehicle stop where drugs were located.
- She reported that her grandson got on the phone and sounded like him but was sick.
- He claimed he was on his way for a COVID test when the vehicle stop occurred.
- She was directed to withdraw $8,000 and leave it under her doormat and a courier would pick it up.
- The ‘officer’ called for better directions to her house at which time she said she was phoning her granddad and the male hung up the phone.