On March 11, 2022, the EPS initiated an investigation into numerous frauds that had been occurring in and around Edmonton targeting senior citizens. The “grandparent scam” involves targeting vulnerable elderly persons of the community. In many circumstances, a call is made to a senior by a person pretending to be their grandchild. This impersonator pleads for help stating that they are in police custody and in need of money. The grandparent is directed to not speak to anyone about their grandchild’s dilemma and a demand is made for money in order to have the grandchild released from police custody. Out of fear for their loved one, funds are provided to the suspects via cash or credit card.
“These incidents are occurring all across Canada,” states EPS Detective Pierre Lemire. “There have been over 36 complainants in the Edmonton area since March of 2022 and there are new complainants being identified every week.”
The EPS has been working in collaboration with the Calgary Police Service and the RCMP to identify the suspect(s) involved.
Lucas Kopijewski, 30, was arrested and charged with fraud over $5000 (x6) in relation to six separate incidents.