Smiths Falls, Ont. couple loses $8,000 in ‘grandparent scam’
Police in Smiths Falls are issuing a warning about a scam targeting the elderly population.
Dubbed the “grandparent scam”, police say it is on the rise in the region and it preys on the emotions of the victims, often involving grandchildren.
“It’s unfortunate in these kinds of scams, grandparents will do anything for their grandkids most of the time,” says Smiths Falls Police Service detective Tyler Brett.
“A lot of the times elderly people are a lot more trusting than the younger generation and then that trust is what these suspects prey on.”
Recently a couple in their 60s in Smiths Falls were taken for $8,000.
The victims, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of being victimized again, said they received a call Thursday from someone impersonating their grandson. They claimed he was in a car accident and had been arrested for distracted driving.
“In this case, they said that they injured their nose so that’s why their speech was off,” Brett told CTV News.
“They honestly believed they were on the other end of the phone, but they weren’t.”
The phone was then passed to another person, claiming to be a lawyer. The victims were told they needed $8,000 for their grandson’s bail.
They went to the bank and took out a loan. Later that day the scammer arrived at the home and took the money.
“Now, of course, a police service or courthouse would never actually do this,” says Brett.
The victims said the scammers were well rehearsed and did not hesitate when faced with questions. Police say these types of fraudsters do extensive research through social media.
The suspect has not been identified at this time and the victim’s money has not been recovered. Police are continuing to investigate the incident.
“If you’re not sure, if someone is calling you and you’re not sure just call the police service,” says Brett.
“Call us and ask us.”
(Screenshot of doorbell footage supplied by Smiths Falls Police Service, of the suspect being sought in the recent grandparent scam)
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