Grandparent Scams: How You Can Protect Yourself IG News

Irshadgul News report,

Like hundreds of senior Canadians this year, Eileen Lawson received a terrifying phone call she won’t soon forget.

He is told that his granddaughter had a car accident and a loaded gun was found in the trunk. She was now in police custody.

“I was going crazy. I was going completely crazy,” Lawson said at his home in Mississauga, Ont. “I was shivering, which I’m not normally. All I could think about was my granddaughter locked in the closet.”

The caller told Lawson that her granddaughter would be released if she paid a $10,000 cash bond. But she is told that there is a gag order and she has to keep quiet.

It was only after giving the money that he realized it was all a lie.

She is now sharing her story in the hopes that no one else falls prey to this scam.

“Every night when I go to bed I re-live it,” she said.

Police across the country are seeing a rise in criminals preying on the fears of the elderly, known as grandparent scams.

He says that fraudsters are no longer collecting only through wire transfers.

“What we are seeing locally is that there is a personal element. It is not just online, and it is concerning for me,” said Cpl. Laura Hirst of the Burnaby RCMP in B.C.

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Center (CAFC) says that from January 1 to August 31 in 2022, there were 1,352 reports of ’emergency’ scams, resulting in losses of more than $4.5 million. This is almost double the deficit for all of 2021.

These are only reported cases. Victims often remain silent.

“It’s not only the financial consequences, but also the emotional consequences, where these victims usually have feelings of fear, despair, shame because they’ve listened to the fraudsters,” said Lt. Lynn Labelle of the Montreal Police Department.

RCMP say seniors who receive such calls should:

  • hang up the phone and don’t give the caller any information
  • don’t send money to the caller
  • Call your family members immediately, especially the family member
  • Report this to the police.

All scams must also be reported to the CAFC, which can be contacted online or by phone at 1-888-495-8501.

“Be careful or watchful of what you post online. Scammers can use details shared on social media platforms,” ​​said Jeff Horncastle of the CAFC. “Many times if you list the names of your family members, your family members, fraudsters can unfortunately collect this information and use it as an additional tool to try and defraud you. ”

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