The Competition Bureau of Canada has published the The Little Black Book of Scams 2nd Edition and it is available online at https://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/eic/site/cb-bc.nsf/eng/04333.htm. The information is invaluable and should be of interest to virtually everyone. Over the next few months we will be publishing the information from the The Little Black Book of Scams 2nd Edition, one scam at a time. Last week we published Phishing and Smishing Scams. Today the topic is:
Caring grandparents, don’t act too quickly!
Emergency frauds usually target loving grandparents, taking advantage of their emotions to rob them of their money. The typical scam starts with a grandparent receiving a phone call from someone claiming to be their grandchild. The ‘grandchild’ goes on to say that they’re in trouble – common misfortunes include having been in a car accident, getting locked up in jail, or trouble returning home from a foreign country – and they need money immediately. The caller will ask questions, getting you to reveal personal information. They’ll also swear you to secrecy, saying they are embarrassed and don’t want other family members to find out what’s happened. One variation of this ploy features two people on the phone, one pretending to be a grandchild and the other a police officer or lawyer. In other cases, the scammer will pretend to be an old neighbour or a family friend in trouble.
Tips to protect yourself:
- Take time to verify the story. Scammers are counting on you wanting to quickly help your loved one in an emergency.
- Call the child’s parents or friends to find out about their whereabouts.
- Ask the person on the phone questions that only your loved one would be able to answer and verify their identity before taking steps to help.
- Never send money to anyone you don’t know and trust.
- Never give out any personal information to the caller.
If you suspect a scam, always report it.
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, managed by the RCMP, the Competition Bureau and the Ontario Provincial Police, has plenty of information on fraud. Power up today by visiting www.antifraudcentre.ca!
Additional organizations to contact depending on the situation:
Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre 1-888-495-8501 www.antifraudcentre.ca
Competition Bureau 1-800-348-5358 www.competitionbureau.gc.ca
Consumer Affairs www.consumerhandbook.ca
Securities Administrator www.securities-administrators.ca
Ontario Provincial Police 1-888-310-1122