Winnipeg police are warning the public about an increase in the local “grandparent scam,” which has claimed 15 victims in the past six days.
Police say the recent incidents have accounted for $100,000 in losses.
The scam often involves someone calling an elderly person and claiming to be a grandchild who is in serious legal trouble and needs money immediately. The caller sometimes cries, and there is often urgency and secrecy around the demands.
It’s not the first time Winnipeg police have put out a warning about the scam.
In October 2021, authorities alerted the public about an increase in occurrences surrounding the scam. In March of this year, police noted that the scam had now involved couriers or rideshare drivers physically attending the victim’s residence to collect funds, rather than relying on an online transfer.
Police say the best way to protect yourself from becoming a victim is knowledge, noting the scammers will pressure people to act quickly before the victim can have a chance to consider what they are doing or speak with a family member.
If you receive such a call, police urge you to hang up and contact them immediately. If you have been victimized, keep all receipts, emails, text messages, bank statements and courier correspondence.
To make a report surrounding the grandparent scam, visit the WPS website.