$50,000 scammed from Sask. grandparents, RCMP says
People in Saskatchewan are falling prey to what police are calling "the grandparent scam."
What's happening is that people are getting calls from con artists who pretend to be grandchildren in trouble, claiming to need money for car repairs or bail, the RCMP said.
Across Canada, 356 complaints have been made this year to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Call Centre, also known as PhoneBusters. To date, 108 people report that they have been victimized for a total loss of $370,424.
In Saskatchewan, there have been 13 people victimized in the past three months, with an increase of calls in the past month, police said.
Saskatchewan people have lost about $50,000 over three months, said Cpl. Trevor Ellis of the RCMP's commercial crime section.
In most cases, the scammers have called from Ontario or Quebec.
According to the RCMP, callers use tricks to con seniors. The scam sometimes involves disguising their voices by crying, or claiming to be a favourite grandchild and asking the grandparent to guess which one.
Typically, the scammer asks the person to wire them the money. They also plead with the victim not to contact "mom or dad".
Once the money has been wired, it can be picked up anywhere in the world.
At that point, the money is usually not recoverable, the RCMP said.
In Saskatchewan, the calls have been received mainly by people in the southern part of the province.
People are being advised to be on guard and to call the police if they receive such a call.