Grandparent Scam Targets Seniors in Person
The Calgary Police Service Economic Crimes Unit is warning elderly citizens of a new twist to the Grandparent Scam.
Typical Grandparent Scams are committed through phone solicitation with the exchange of money done through wire transfer or pre-paid credit cards. In a number of recent cases, suspects are retrieving the money in person from the elderly citizen at their own home. This places the victim in danger through direct one-on-one contact.
At approximately 3 p.m., on Wednesday, June 3, 2015, a man attended a senior’s complex in the Dalhousie community where he obtained $2,500 from an elderly woman. The victim was under the belief that she was giving money to her grandson’s friend, who claimed that the grandson had been in an accident, was in police custody and required financial assistance.
The man is described as Caucasian, between 20 and 30 years old, with brown hair and a goatee. He was wearing a red nylon jacket with a hoodie beneath it.
A photo of a man believed to have more information about the incident can be found on The City of Calgary Newsroom.
Between Sunday, June 14, 2015, and Wednesday, June 17, 2015, a man contacted an elderly woman by phone portraying himself as her grandson. On three separate occasions the man requested money from the woman. Each time the man on the phone told her to place the money in an envelope and said he would get a friend to collect it from her. The culprit(s) stole approximately $7,500 from the elderly victim.
The man who showed up to retrieve the money is described as Caucasian, approximately 20 years old, with brown hair. He was wearing a red nylon jacket at the time.
The investigation is ongoing and it is not yet known if the two cases are connected.
Police are concerned that victims are coming into physical contact with the culprits of these scams.
Family members are urged to alert their elderly family members about these scams and how to protect themselves.
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.
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 the Calgary Police Service at 403-266-1234. Anyone who has not suffered a loss is asked to contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 with any pertinent information.
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