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Vigilant posing grandparent or emergency scam

Source: ontario.ca Release Time: 03:33:15 2019-11-04

A con-artist phones and pretends to be your grandchild. The caller will say they are in trouble and need money right away. He or she may say they are in hospital, stuck in another country or have gotten into trouble with the law. The scammer may have looked up personal information about you and your family members, such as names and birth dates, to make their call sound legitimate.

The scammer’s goal is to pressure you to send them money as soon as possible without verifying the situation. To do this, they often:

act very emotional on the call (e.g., they may cry or sound scared) try to disguise their voices by faking a bad phone connection ask you not to tell anyone in the family about the call (they may claim that other family members will blame or punish them for the accident or emergency) insist that you wire them money immediately To avoid an emergency scam:

1.hang up and call your grandchild directly, or another family member, to find out if there is a real emergency
2.consider developing a secret code word with family members (if you get a call about an emergency, ask the caller for the code word)
3. don’t disclose any personal information over the phone unless you initiated the call
4. never wire money unless you’re absolutely certain that you’re sending it to someone you know (wiring money is like sending someone cash — once it’s gone, it’s gone)


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