Some things don’t change…much. The Regina Police Service is seeing a new surge in an old scam right now. It’s been called the “Grandparent Scam”: the one where a caller pretends to be calling on behalf of a grandchild who is (supposedly) in trouble and needs money right away for legal fees or car repairs. Perhaps we could dub this newest version simply the “Parent Scam”. It’s the same script, different characters, and the same unfortunate result.
In recent days, the Regina Police Service has seen an increase in the number of reported phone scams, prompting a reminder to be wary of suspicious phone calls. The typical scenario may unfold like this:
The potential “Victim” receives a call from someone claiming to be, or represent, the victim’s child. The victim often then unwittingly gives the suspect information by addressing the caller by name. The caller uses information given in the victim’s initial response to build credibility, giving the victim an urgent story of some sort of crisis requiring immediate transfer of money. The caller/scammer may request that money be sent using a courier or a money transfer service.
The victim gets caught up in the urgency and, out of concern, sends the money. It is only after the money has been sent and the victim starts making other calls to family and friends that they realize there was no crisis and learns they are a victim of fraud.
Anyone who gets such calls should take the time to ask some questions. Remember that you can control of the pace of the conversation. Take notes and ask for the caller’s phone number. Then, hang up so that you can make some inquiries of your own. If there is a real crisis, you will be able to get the facts from a trusted source and offer help. Awareness is the key to preventing these crimes.
The Regina Police Service advises anyone who has been victim of such a crime to report it to police at 306-777-6500.