Halifax District RCMP is warning the public about a recent telephone scam, often called the ’emergency or grandparent scam’ involving a Lower Sackville woman.
On Sept. 23, 2015, a 72 year-old woman received a call from a man she believed to be her grandson.
The caller indicated he had been in a car collision and required money to get out of jail in the Dominican Republic. As a result, the Lower Sackville woman wired a significant amount of money to the Dominican Republic.
The Lower Sackville woman later determined the caller was a fraudster and reported it to police. Unfortunately, the money had already been sent.
Cpl. Greg Church says, ‘These scammers are well rehearsed, well prepared and prey on the love of grandparents to help their grandchildren return home.’
When it comes to emergency or grandparent scams, callers will typically have the grandparent reveal a name and then go on to say they were in a car accident, mugged or incarcerated in a foreign country — all emergencies prompting an urgent need for cash.
The caller begs for secrecy, in order to prevent a quick phone call to the grandchild’s parents to verify the story. When asked why their voice sounds funny, they’ll usually claim their nose or mouth is injured. Once a victim wires money, more calls may follow, employing other callers who pose as attorneys, bail bondsmen or doctors.
Halifax District RCMP is reminding the public to always be cautious when someone is asking for money over the phone. Ask questions and verify with other family members if an emergency has occurred. If you’re still unsure, hang up and report the call to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.