Incident Date

The Thunder Bay Police Service has received multiple complaints today (Tuesday, Nov. 22) indicating a Grandparent Scam is targeting local phone numbers.

The grandparent scam is relatively common. Typically, the would-be victim is contacted by a fraudster pretending to be their grandchild. The scammer tells the victim they’ve been arrested, or detained after a motor vehicle accident, and require money to post bail.

Complaints today have shared similar stories about a relative being involved in a collision with a “pregnant woman” and face possible civil or criminal consequences. The scammers might have personal details about the victim or the person they are pretending to be.

These fraudsters are often experts at creating a sense of urgency and panic. If asked why they don’t sound like the target’s grandchild, the fraudster will often attribute it to an injury like a broken nose.

If you are contacted by a suspected scammer, please remember that the best way to avoid being victimized is to hang up the phone. You can then attempt to reach the family member alleged to be in trouble on your own terms to verify the story.

The fraudster may attempt to dissuade a victim from doing this by claiming the money is required immediately. This is a common tactic to prevent victims from practicing due diligence, and should be viewed as strong evidence that a scam is taking place.

Please take time to speak to your more vulnerable friends and family members who may be more aggressively targeted by these kinds of scams.

To learn more about frauds and scams visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre here:

Thunder Bay