Gatineau police break up 'grandparent scam' ring

Gatineau police say a large network of Ottawa-based fraudsters have been arrested in connection with a scam targeting the elderly.

Victims lost between $800 and $15,000

Several people in Ottawa have been arrested in connection with a scam targeting the elderly. 2:24

Gatineau police say a large network of Ottawa-based fraudsters have been arrested in connection with a scam targeting the elderly.

The investigation began three months ago after police said they received multiple complaints of scammers posing as a grandson.

Specifically, police said members of this network would call, say there had been an accident, they had been detained and they needed to pay a deposit or fix a vehicle before they could be released.

Police said the victims sent anywhere between $800 and $15,000 to the person at the other end, either by money transfer services or into a bank account.

The scammer also asked the grandparent to keep the money a secret because it made them uncomfortable and they didn’t want to disappoint their parents, police said.

In some cases, a second scammer would call and pretend to be a lawyer in order to help the first caller’s credibility.

Gatineau police said they've discovered 30 victims of this scam who lost about $100,000 dollars in total.

Police said they have arrested 14 people between the ages of 19 and 38, with warrants still out for two more. They are working with other police forces throughout Quebec on further investigations.

The Canadian Bankers Association says to press callers for details, including details only a real grandchild would know, and never give out personal information over the phone.

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