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Grandparent Scams



We are so grateful that Charlene agreed to tell her story of how she was scammed out of more than $200,000. It shows how clever and ruthless these scammers can be.

Grandparent scams are scams that target seniors. These scams usually involve a phone call from someone who pretends to be your grandchild or another close family member (son, daughter, niece, nephew, etc.). The scammer may already know information about you and the person they are claiming to be or they may be using a script that relies on your responses to fill in the blanks for them.

Acting as your grandchild, the scammer claims to be in trouble and in need of immediate money for bail or hospital expenses. The scammer may try to convince you that they have been in a car accident, in the hospital, or have been arrested. You will be asked for payment right away in order to get your grandchild out of trouble. Payment may be requested through wire transfer, crypto currency, gift cards or by sending a courier to you home to pick up cash.

In 2022, there were over 100 scams, resulting in a loss of over $1.2 million.

Protect Yourself

  • If you receive a call like this, do not send money.
  • Call your grandchild or another family member to verify the claims or requests.
  • Court appointed couriers don’t exist. If someone asks to come to your home to pick up a payment, it’s a scam.
  • Using high-pressure tactics usually means it’s a scam.
  • Always ask for proof of identification and call-back numbers.
  • Set a safe word or phrase with family members that includes details only you would know. Ask for this word or phrase to confirm if the person calling is your relative.

If you have been a victim, call the Edmonton Police Service immediately at 780-423-4567 or #377 from your mobile phone. If you’re a victim of a fraud, do not be afraid to come forward. You are not alone. We are here to help you.

If you send money or share financial information, report it to the financial institution used e.g., your bank, Western Union, MoneyGram, Equifax, and TransUnion.

Gather all information pertaining to the situation, including the scammer’s profile name, how you made contact, social media screenshots, emails, etc. and contact your local police.

File a report with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre -1-888-495-8501.

For more resources and to learn how to spot and stop senior scams visit seniorfraudalert.ca

Be proactive; tell family, friends, coworkers, and neighbours about your experience to warn them about online scams.