Charges in Grandparent Scams
Following a year-long, multi-jurisdictional investigation, the Calgary Police Service has charged a man in relation to grandparent scams.
Grandparent scams often involve people calling elderly victims, alleging to be a close relative in emergent need of money. The victims are fraudulently convinced to send money to their alleged relative in the form of money transfers, prepaid credit cards, or sending money via a courier. The incidents often involve multiple people posing as the victim’s relative, as well as members of insurance companies or lawyers.
To date, CPS has received 139 complaints from victims, totaling more than $210,000 in losses by elderly victims.
A number of areas within the Service, including the Centralized General Investigative Section and the Economic Crimes Unit, collaborated on an extensive investigation with the assistance of the RCMP Centre of Operations Linked to Telemarketing Fraud Team (COLT), Alberta RCMP detachments, the Edmonton Police Service, the Montreal Police Service, Western Union and MoneyGram International.
On Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015, Yann GIASSON, 28, of Montreal, Quebec, was arrested in Montreal and charged with 10 counts of fraud under $5,000, and 10 counts of theft under $5,000.
Investigators believe GIASSON fraudulently obtained more than $30,000 from 10 victims living throughout Alberta. The investigation continues into numerous other victims believed to be located throughout Alberta and B.C.
Anyone who believes they have been a victim of fraud, and has suffered a loss or has any information, such as suspicious phone numbers, is asked to call police or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.
Anyone with information about this investigation is asked to call police at 403-266-1234, or Crime Stoppers anonymously using any of the following methods:
TEXT: tttTIPS to 274637
The Calgary Police Service suggests the following crime prevention tips:
• Do not feel pressure to respond to a request until you have a chance to verify the story.
• Never transfer money, or give out credit card or other financial information, until you can verify the person’s identity and the story, and determine whether it is legitimate.
• Ask the caller questions that only your family member would know the answer to.
• Ask for call back numbers in order to confirm the legitimacy of any call you receive.
• When in doubt, check it out. Verify the story with other friends or family members.
• Immediately report suspicious people to police.
For more information on this and other scams visit www.antifraudcentre.ca