The Orillia OPP are issuing a warning and seeking the public’s assistance in relation to an emergency scam investigation in Orillia, ON.
On May 2, 2023, the victim received a call from a male falsely identifying himself as the victims grandson. The fraudster advised the victim that they had been in a car accident where another driver was injured and that they had been arrested and subsequently going to be held for a bail hearing. The fraudster then advised the victim to contact a phone number which was said to be the lawyer for the grandson. A male answered the phone stating he was a lawyer and requested the victim explain what he was calling about. The victim gave his grandsons name. The fraudster then advised the victim that a payment of $6,450 was mandatory for his grandson’s release. The lawyer stated he would send a driver to the residence to accept the money and transport it to the courthouse. The victim explained he was only able to retrieve $5,500 in cash. The fraudster stated he could manage bail with that monetary amount. The victim stated he could meet at the Orillia OPP detachment to exchange the money but was instructed not to attend the police station and to wait for a driver to arrive at his residence to retrieve the money.
Arrangements were made and a male attended the victim’s residence approximately fifteen minutes later to collect the money.
Investigators are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the male.
The male is described as:
• African American
• Approximately 5’10” tall
• Slim build
• Thick Eyebrows
• Thin Mustache
• Slacks and Dark Jacket
Members of Orillia OPP are committed to public safety, delivering proactive and innovative policing in partnership with our communities. Officers value your contribution to building safe communities. Anyone with information pertaining to this investigation or anyone who may have been a victim of this crime is asked to contact the Orillia OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or 705 326-3536, or Crime Stoppers to remain anonymous at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or https://www.crimestopperssdm.com.
EMERGENCY SCAMS (The Little Black Book of Scams, Competition Bureau Canada)
Emergency frauds, also known as the grandparent scam, usually target loving grandparents, taking advantage of their emotions to rob them of their money. The typical scam starts with a grandparent receiving a phone call from someone claiming to be their grandchild. The “grandchild” goes on to say they’re in trouble-common misfortunes include having been in a car accident, getting locked up in jail, or trouble returning home from a foreign country-and they need money immediately.
The caller will ask you questions, getting you to reveal personal information. They’ll also swear you to secrecy, saying they are embarrassed and don’t want other family members to find out what’s happened.
One variation of this ploy features two people on the phone, one pretending to be a grandchild and the other a police officer or lawyer. In other cases, the scammer will pretend to be an old neighbour or a family friend in trouble.
Tips to protect yourself:
• Take time to verify the story. Scammers are counting on you wanting to quickly help your loved one in an emergency.
• Call the child’s parents or friends to find out about their whereabouts.
• Ask the person on the phone questions that only your loved one would be able to answer and verify their identity before taking steps to help.
• Never send money to anyone you don’t know and trust.
• Never give out any personal information to the caller.
For more information on this and other common scams in Canada, check out the Competition Bureau Canada’s The Little Black Book of Scams: https://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/eic/site/cb-bc.nsf/eng/04333.html
For additional information on ongoing scams in Canada and to report fraud, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or https://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/.
If you believe you have been a victim of fraud, please contact police.