A Rockland, Ont. bank teller is being praised for stopping a customer from withdrawing a large amount of money in a potential ‘grandparent scam.”

The Ontario Provincial Police East Region Frontline Support Unit received a report of a fraud on Oct. 12.

Police say the fraudster called the victim stating he was a friend of hers and that he needed money right away.  The victim was instructed to attend her local bank to withdraw a large amount of cash.

As the woman went to withdraw a “large sum” of money, the teller quickly realized what was happening and educated the victim about the grandparent scam, police said in a media release.

“Fantastic job by the bank teller!” police said.

Ontario Provincial Police say there has been an increase in reports of emergency/grandparent scams this fall.

“The scammers target vulnerable persons and seniors by playing upon their emotions and fear of a loved one being hurt or in trouble,” the OPP said on Tuesday.

In a typical emergency scam, the victim will receive a “frantic phone call from someone” claiming to be a grandchild or loved one, explain they have been in some type of emergency and need money right away, police said.

“The scammer will often insist that the victim does not tell anyone.”

Police say to avoid becoming a victim, check with another family member or trusted friend to verify the information before sending money or providing credit card information by phone or email.

In July, the Ottawa Police Service said it had received 20 reports of people being targeted by fraudsters, with some people being defrauded out of $10,000 to $30,000.

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