Rash of grandparent scams have police urging caution
We are investigating a series of fraud incidents targeting elderly Calgarians and are warning citizens to be cautious when receiving requests for money.
This month, we have been alerted to multiple instances of a similar scam targeting elderly citizens.
On Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021, a 70-year-old man received a telephone call from a man pretending to be his grandson. The victim was told that his grandson had been arrested and needed money for bail. Claiming this procedure was due to COVID, the victim was told that a courier would go to his house to pick up the money. An unknown woman attended the home to take the victim’s money.
On Friday, Dec. 10, 2021, a 77-year-old woman was contacted by a man pretending to be her granddaughter’s boyfriend stating that he had been arrested and needed money for bail. Similarly, an unknown woman attended the home to collect the money from the victim.
On that same day, an 88-year-old woman was contacted by a man claiming to be a police officer, informing her that her grandson had been arrested. Again, a woman attended the victim’s home to take the victim’s money.
The woman suspected of collecting money fraudulently from victims in these incidents is described as approximately 5’3” tall, 30 to 35 years of age, with straight hair that was dyed black. The suspect was wearing a very distinctive two-tone jacket during one of the above incidents and arrived in what is believed to be an older model Mercedes sedan with tinted windows.
Photos of the unknown woman and the vehicle are available on The City of Calgary Newsroom.
“These troubling incidents do significant harm to vulnerable members of our community,” said Staff Sergeant Krista Ryan. “We want to encourage Calgarians to be aware of these kinds of scams and to have conversations with the vulnerable loved ones in their lives to ensure they don’t fall victim. And if you have been the victim of a crime or fraud, please call the Calgary Police Service non-emergency number at 403-266-1234 to report the crime so that we can investigate.”
It is important to note that Calgary Police Service officers never collect bail money from citizens. Information on how seniors can protect themselves, along with a description of the grandparent scam ruse is available on the Calgary Police Service website.
Anyone with information about these scams, or the identity of the female suspect, is asked to call the police non-emergency number at 403-266-1234. Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers through any of the following methods:
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