A scam picking up steam in Canada is one to warn people about. We need to help shield grandparents everywhere from this one.
Typically, the con artist will call claiming to be one of the victim’s grandchildren. Crying to disguise his or her voice, he or she often claims to be in either Toronto or Quebec, needing money for some trouble the caller is in. The caller may say he or she has been in a car crash or charged with impaired driving and needs money for bail, police say.
The caller might start off the conversation by saying, “It’s me, your favourite grandchild,” to which the grandparent will guess the name. Or the caller might say, “Grandma? Do you know who this is?” Once the grandparent offers a name, the scammer uses it to gain credibility.
The caller will often ask the grandparent to wire them money, but plead with them not tell their parents, because they don’t want to get in trouble.
Police say once money has been sent with a wire transfer, it can be picked up anywhere in the world and is hard to track once scammers have picked it up. At this point, police and bankers are not usually able to recover the money.
In many cases, the scam victims were contacted a second time by someone claiming to be their grandchild’s lawyer, asking for more money for bail or legal fees. Two callers have used the same fictitious law firm name.