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Ontario Provincial Police/Facebook screen shot, April 18, 2024

14 arrested for involvement in grandparent scam

By Randy Thoms Apr 18, 2024 | 4:15 PM

Police in Ontario and Quebec have cracked down on a grandparent scam that included victims across the country.

Fourteen people, all residents of Quebec, were arrested in Montreal.

The scam was aimed directly at seniors with land lines.

Victims were led to believe they were talking to an officer or a lawyer about a family member who was in trouble with the law and needed bail money to be released from custody.

Police say unsuspecting couriers, known as money mules, would be used to collect the money.

Victims were told not to speak of the transaction.

Police have linked the group to scams dating back to February 2022 that identified reported losses of over $2.2 million.

They have identified 126 victims, many seniors, who fell victim to the scam since this January. Fifteen were victimized more than once.

Victims were located across Canada, with a large majority of them living in Ontario.

The oldest was 95.

Police say about $739,000 was drained from the victims’ bank accounts by the scammer.

Police say investigators have worked with financial institutions and the Canadian Bankers Association to prevent or recover more than $559,000 in losses.

Anyone who suspects they have been the victim of the emergency grandparent scam or any fraud is urged to contact their local police, OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or ontariocrimestoppers.ca.

You can also report to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre’s online reporting system or by phone at 1-888-495-8501.¬†