The Steinbach Credit Union has issued a fraud alert regarding a recent increase in “grandparent scams.”
With this scam, a fraudster poses as a family member and calls a senior, claiming to be their grandchild in need of immediate financial help.
This is followed by an urgent, and often tearful, request for money to be sent to the caller.
The scammer will create a sense of urgency to pressure the senior into sending the money before they have a chance to think through the request. The scammer may also visit the senior’s home multiple times over the next few days to receive additional funds.
During the past summer, Winnipeg Police warned the public after scammers swindled $100,000 from seniors within a matter of days.
The Steinbach Credit Union reports the “grandparent scam” is happening more often these days and Winnipeg Police are once again cautioning the public.
Warning signs – How to protect yourself:
Knowledge is critical when it comes to preventing these frauds.
– The police and courts will never send someone to your house to collect money.
– The police and courts, including lawyers, will never tell you to lie to the bank about the purpose of obtaining money.
– These scammers will pressure people to act quickly before they have time to consider what they are doing or agreeing to. Always talk to a trusted person before providing personal information or funds, especially if it is an unsolicited call.
– We urge people to converse with their elderly relatives regarding this fraud.
– If you receive a call like this, please contact the police immediately.
If you have been victimized by the “grandparent scam”:
If you have been a victim of fraud, document all the information you can recall about your fraudulent transaction, e.g. receipts, copies of emails, text messages and courier companies.
It is also crucial that you report the fraud – doing so can help you possibly recover any loss, and it helps protect the community from future frauds and scams.
Information on how to report the “grandparent scam” can be found here: https://www.winnipeg.ca/police/TakeAction/frauds_scams.stm#report