Strathcona County RCMP Warns Residents About The Grandparent's Scam

April 26, 2023


Strathcona County RCMP warns residents about the grandparent’s scam


Strathcona County, Alta. – Strathcona County RCMP warns the public about the grandparent’s scam that has been circulating in the area.

Grandparent scams are common scams that target seniors and usually involve a phone call from someone who pretends to be a grandchild a lawyer calling on their behalf. If you get a call like this, be prepared: the scammer may already know your grandchild’s name and what your grandchild calls you (for example, a nickname like Nona or Grampy).

Acting as your grandchild, the scammer claims to be in trouble and asks for your help. The scammer may try to convince you that your grandchild was in a car accident or has been arrested and needs bail money. You may be asked to wire money, buy gift cards, have a courier pick up cash or send bitcoin right away. They may use tactics such as urgency, secrecy, and pressure to convince the grandparent to send money.

They pull at your heartstrings so they can trick you into sending money before you realize it is a scam. To make the story seem more credible, the caller might also put another person on the phone to act like a police officer or lawyer.

Fortunately, there are a few simple steps that you can take to avoid falling victim to this scam:

  • Resist the urge to act immediately – no matter how dramatic the story is.
  • Ask the caller a few personal questions that a real grandchild could answer but a scammer could not.
  • After you hang up, verify the story by calling the parents or other relatives of the “grandchild”.
  • Never wire money, sent gifts or bitcoin to someone under uncertain conditions. It is nearly impossible to recover or trace money that has been wired.
  • Remember police officers will not request anyone to sent money for anything.
  • Bail money can only be paid at a police station or at the courthouse and couriers will never be sent to pickup the money.

For more information on scams contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online or toll free at 1-888-495-8501. If you believe you may be the victim of fraud or have given personal or financial information unwittingly, contact your local police detachment.