Calgary, AB,

Two charged in 'grandparent scams'

Two more suspects have been charged in ongoing ‘grandparent scams’ targeting local seniors.

On Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022, police were contacted by a local senior who said someone had called him pretending to be his nephew, stating he was in trouble after being arrested and that he needed thousands of dollars in cash to get out on bail. He also advised that his ‘uncle’ couldn’t talk about it to anyone else. The senior was then contacted by a second individual claiming to be the nephew’s lawyer.

The switched-on senior hung up and called his real nephew to confirm the story, which turned out to be a fraud. The senior then called police, who were ready and waiting at the senior’s home when the suspect arrived to pick up the cash.

The investigation continued and identified another person believed to be connected to the fraud. The second suspect was arrested on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022.

Nicky COTRONI-BRUNO, 39, and Patrick GILL, 32, both from Mascouche, Quebec, have each been charged with one count of defrauding a person over $5,000. GILL was released from custody pending his next court date on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022.

COTRONI-BRUNO was released from custody on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022, pending his next court date on Monday, Sept. 26, however, he failed to appear and a warrant has now been issued for his arrest.

He is described as 6’ tall, approximately 225 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. A photo of COTRONI-BRUNO is available on The City of Calgary Newsroom.

The Calgary Police Service would like to remind citizens that:

  • Bail payments can only be paid in person at the courthouse or correctional centres and receipts will be issued.
  • Only Canadian currency, debit and credit cards are accepted as payment. Gift cards, e-transfers and cheques are not accepted.
  • Funds will never be transferred to other accounts.
  • In the vast majority of situations, the person needing bail will make phone calls themselves to secure bail, not police.

Information on how seniors can protect themselves, along with a description of how the grandparent scam is typically played out, is available on the Calgary Police Service website. When in doubt, verify the story you are being told by contacting the alleged family member directly or a third-party family member to help.

Anyone with information about the whereabouts of COTRONI-BRUNO is asked to contact police by calling 403-266-1234. Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers through any of the following methods:

TALK: 1-800-222-8477
APP: P3 Tips

CASE# CA22389956/5045