Scammers Target Five Elderly Victims in Halifax, Police Charge Suspects

HRP release:

Police have laid a number of charges in relation to five incidents targeting seniors in Halifax that occurred earlier this year.

In January and February, investigators from the Financial Crime Section of the Integrated Criminal Investigation Division received five reports in relation to a scam intended to defraud seniors of their money. In each incident, the victim received a call from someone pretending to be a family member who indicated that they have been arrested and are in jail. Another person representing themselves to be from the legal system becomes involved in the call and informs the victim that they need to pay money to have their loved one released from custody. In some of the cases, the suspects then made arrangement to pick up the money in person. In two instances, the suspects identified themselves as police officers.

Charles Gillen, 23, is scheduled to appear in Halifax provincial court at a later date to face charges of:

  • Fraud over $5000 (x5)
  • Possession of property obtained by crime over $5000 (x5)
  • Use/possession of stolen credit card
  • Participate in criminal organization
  • Conspiracy to commit fraud

We remind citizens that police will never make this type of call. If you receive a call from someone representing themselves as a police officer and they request money for bail, this is a scam. Do not provide or confirm any personal or financial information and hang up the phone. Be suspicious of any emails or calls asking for money and to make sure the caller is legitimate before providing any money. You should not give personal information to anyone, whether solicitation occurs by email, telephone or in person, unless you have initiated the contact or you are certain of the identity of the individual and/or the legitimacy of the organization they claim to represent.

Call police at 902-490-5016 if you’ve lost money or your identity has been compromised as the result of a scam. You can report a scam where you haven’t been a victim to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, or call 1-888-495-8501.

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