Calgary police warn of twist to grandparents scam, search for suspect
Calgary police are warning of a twist to the grandparent scam that involves suspects coming face-to-face with the seniors they're targeting.
Typically, suspects gain access to elderly victims through phone calls, convincing them to give money through wire transfers or pre-paid credit cards.
But police say in a couple of recent cases, men are going to the seniors' homes — which poses the additional risk of being in-person.
Earlier this month, a man convinced an elderly woman living at a seniors complex in the northwest community of Dalhousie to hand over $2,500.
He told her he was a friend of her grandson's who had been in an accident, was in police custody and needed the money.
The suspect is described as white, between 20 and 30 years old, with brown hair and a goatee. He was wearing a red nylon jacket.
In another incident that involved face-to-face contact, a man believed to be about 20 years old contacted an elderly woman by phone pretending to be her grandson.
Between June 14 and 17, he requested money on three occasions. Each time the suspect told her to put the money in an envelope and said he would get a friend to pick it up.
The man in this case was also wearing a red nylon jacket and was able to steal about $7,500 from the senior.
Investigators still aren't sure if the two cases are connected but are concerned about the face-to-face contact between the victims and suspects.
Police are asking people to speak with their elderly family members about these scams and how to protect themselves.
CPS suggests the following crime prevention tips:
- Don't feel pressured to respond to a request until you can verify the story.
- Never transfer money, or give out credit card or other financial information, until you're sure who's asking for it.
- Ask the caller questions that only your family member would know the answer to.
- Ask for call back numbers in order to confirm the legitimacy of any call you receive.
- When in doubt, check it out. Verify the story with other friends or family members.
- Immediately report suspicious people to police.