Published June 8, 2022 at 12:37 pm
The Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) is warning the public after a recent increase in “emergency scams” targeting seniors.
Police say that in a typical emergency scam scenario, an older person receives a phone call from someone claiming to be their grandchild. The caller then goes on to say that they are in some kind of trouble and require money immediately.
According to police, some victims may get calls from two people, one pretending to be their loved one and the other a police officer, lawyer or bondsman.
Police say the caller will then ask potential victims a series of questions which sometimes leads them to voluntarily give out personal information.
Callers also usually say that they don’t want others to find out what has happened. As a result, they will typically ask for money to be delivered in cash to a “bail bondsman” or an employee of the law firm or court.
Victims often don’t verify the caller’s story until after the money has been given to the fraudster.
As a result of the increase in these scams, police have issued the following tips to protect yourself.
Those who suspect that they are being contacted by a fraudster are advised to call Halton Police at 905-825-4777 or 911 if it is an emergency.
If you are at the bank, tell the bank employee why you are retrieving the cash and do not lie. Employees are trained to assist in recognizing possible frauds and will help protect your money.
It’s important to remember that scammers count on the fact that victims will want to act quickly to help their loved ones in an emergency.
Also, never give money to anyone you don’t know or trust. Always verify the person’s identity before you take any steps to help and do not give out any personal information to the caller.
Ask the person questions that only your loved one would be able to answer or call someone you both know to verify the story.
Scammers can learn a lot about you from social media or while talking to you on the phone.
Ask yourself if the caller’s story makes sense and remember that police, lawyers and the court will never ask you to give money to someone at your door.
Anyone with information pertaining to a fraud or any other crime is asked to contact the Regional Fraud Bureau Intake Office at 905-465-8741 or [email protected].
Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca.
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