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Charges laid in Grandparent scam

Investigators with the York Regional Police Financial Crimes Unit have arrested and charged a man in connection with a grandparent scam investigation.

On January 18, investigators received information from a 67-year-old female victim who had lost $57,000 in a grandparent scam by suspect(s) claiming to be a police officer and a judge, stating her grandson had been arrested.

On January 23, the victim received another call from a suspect who identified himself as a judge, telling the victim that she needed to provide $5,000 more and that a courier would attend her residence to pick up the money.

The suspect attended a Vaughan residence in a vehicle and took a package from the victim.

Investigators located the vehicle nearby the victim’s residence and stopped it. The suspect was arrested and officers located a package inside the vehicle that belonged to the victim.

A 22-year-old man from Mississauga has been charged with fraud over $5000, possession of property obtained by crime, and extortion.

Typically in a grandparent scam, criminals will call an elderly person while posing as their grandchild in distress, demanding money to get them out of trouble. In some cases, a second suspect will play the role of a government official, a police officer or a lawyer who provides instructions on how the victim can deliver the money. These types of frauds may be repeated over the course of days, weeks or even months, as the criminals gain the trust of their victims.

A list of ongoing scams as well as tips to avoid becoming a victim is available at yrp.ca/fraud.

Crime Prevention Tips:

  • Never offer personal or financial information to the caller
  • Call the grandchild or family member in question, at a phone number you recognize as their own
  • Ask the caller personal questions that only your grandchild could answer but an imposter could not
  • Verify the story or information with your family first
  • Press the caller for details if they identify as a government official and verify their information
  • Never send money to someone you don’t know
  • Please take some time and ask yourself: Could this be a scam? Does it make sense?

YRP encourages citizens to share fraud prevention tips with friends and family, especially seniors or newcomers to Canada, who are frequently targeted as victims. Employees at financial institutions and courier services are being asked to help identify citizens that may be a target of a grandparent scam and to contact the police if something appears unusual and suspicious.

If you have been a victim of fraud, and have not lost any money, please contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online or by calling 1-888-495-8501. To report an incident if you have lost money, go online at https://www.yrp.ca/en/online- reporting/Report-a-Crime.asp or call York Regional Police at 1-866-876-5423.

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