ONTARIO PROVINCIAL POLICE
CLEARVIEW TWP. – Members of the Huronia West Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are currently investigating an emergency scam commonly known as "the grandparent scam."
On Friday, July 16, 2021, Huronia West OPP was contacted by the victim who wished to report being defrauded in the amount of $22,000. She had recently received a call from a person identifying themselves as a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officer advising that her grandson was currently under arrest and an amount of $10,000 would have to be provided in cash to secure his release. Arrangements were made later that afternoon for someone to attend the victim's residence and take possession of the money.
The following morning, a follow-up call from the same person was received advising another $12,000 would be required to release her grandson. For a second time, a person attended the victim's residence and picked up the money.
The OPP would like to remind the public that officers will never contact family members to request money for their loved ones to be released from custody. If you should receive one of these calls, please hang up and contact your local police service to report it.
Tips to protect yourself:
- Take time to verify the story. Scammers are counting on you wanting to quickly help your loved one in an emergency.
- Call the child's parents or friends to find out about their whereabouts.
- Ask the person on the phone questions that only your loved one would be able to answer and verify their identity before taking steps to help.
- Never send money to anyone you don't know and trust.
- Never give out any personal information to the caller.
- If in doubt, hang up and call the organization to verify the request through a publicly listed phone number.
Learn more about ongoing scams in Canada with the Little Black Book of Scams: https://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/eic/site/cb-bc.nsf/eng/04333.html.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call Huronia West OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers to remain anonymous at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or https://ontariocrimestoppers.ca/. You can also report fraud through the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre toll-free at 1-888-495-8501 or antifraudcentre.ca.