Police arrest two suspects in Waterloo area in connection with ‘grandparent fraud’

Waterloo Local Police say two suspects have been arrested on suspicion of carrying out a “grandparent fraud” that victimized two separate senior citizens.

January 18th news releasePolice said a 21-year-old man from Quebec and a 47-year-old man from Toronto are facing charges of “fraud of more than $5,000 and possession of property obtained by crime of more than $5,000.” rice field.

The latest victim was an 86-year-old man who was contacted by phone on the morning of January 17th. He was told that his grandson was in prison and was advised to post his $8,000 as bail. The old man called the police instead.

Later that day, the suspect contacted the 80-year-old woman and demanded $8,000 to release her grandson from prison.

Both suspects are in police custody awaiting a bail hearing.

This follows two similar arrests earlier this month. January 17, police announced They arrested a 30-year-old man and a 23-year-old woman from Quebec and charged them with fraud over $5,000 in another alleged grandparent fraud.

Police said on January 12 that a 90-year-old victim was defrauded of $8,000 to bail his imprisoned grandson.

On January 16, another 79-year-old man was contacted in a similar scam demanding $9,000 bail for his grandson. His senior called the police, who arrested the suspect and took the money from his senior’s house.

on the rise

Grandparent fraud seems to be on the rise. This month, the Halifax RCMP and local police warning It said it had received numerous fraud complaints since mid-December.

“Victims will be contacted in the event of a perceived emergency to provide money to alleviate a bad situation, such as a loved one in jail or being in a car accident. You will be instructed,” police said. “In some of these cases, victims gave up thousands of dollars.”

“These crooks are very good at what they do. They are believable.”

The Canadian Bankers Association also issued a warning about grandparent fraud on November 28, 2022 with helpful tips. protect seniors.

According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center (CAFC), by 2021, grandparents or emergency scam As it is known, the victim had been swindled out of $2.4 million. In 2022, that number had already doubled to his $4.2 million by early December.

The CAFC says the scam “preys on” a person’s fear that a loved one is hurt or in trouble. Scammers target individuals using phone calls, emails, texts, or faxes, claiming that the victim is someone they know and is in urgent need of money.

According to the CAFC, some scammers have done extensive research on social media and may even know their grandchildren’s names when they call. Scammers may say they were arrested and need bail, claim they were in a car accident, or pretend they are returning from abroad.

Criminals may pose as police officers or lawyers, impersonate grandchildren or family members. In some circumstances, the suspect may obtain the victim’s address and actually arrive to get the cash.

Fraud occurs in multiple states across the country.

Marnie Cathcart

Marnie Cathcart is a reporter based in Edmonton.