**** RCMP Media Release
Grandparent scams continue in rural Nova Scotia
Pictou County District RCMP are warning the public about scams occurring in rural Nova Scotia, instructing victims to provide money.
Since last year, police have received numerous complaints of frauds, which are sometimes referred to as the ‘grandparent scam’ or ‘emergency scam.’ Victims are contacted in a perceived urgent situation and instructed to provide money to alleviate a bad circumstance of a loved one such as, but not limited to, being in jail or in a car accident. This scam was predominantly targeted in the Halifax Region earlier in the year and now is being seen in the rural areas of Nova Scotia.
Pictou RCMP received a report yesterday from a senior couple that they provided fraudsters $22,500 over 3 days in a similar circumstance. The victim was instructed to withdraw cash from their bank and once completed a “courier” or “bondsman” would come by their residence and retrieve the cash. In this case the “courier” was described as being tall, of African descent wearing a medical mask and business casual clothes.
Police want to highlight that authorities in Canada do not solicit release of someone for money and are reminding the public these fraudsters are very good at what they do; they’re believable.
To protect themselves against these frauds, people can:
- Slow things down, reach out to other relatives and review the situation together, and contact authorities if need be. Fraudsters create a sense of urgency.
- Never offer information to the caller (e.g., if you believe it might be a family member calling, don’t say the person’s name before they identify themselves).
- Ask the caller personal questions that only the real person would know.
- Attempt to contact the family member in question.
- Refuse to send e-transfer money, gift cards, credit card numbers, crypto currency, such as Bitcoin, or anything else of value in ‘urgent situations.’
- Be careful to not drop their guard because the number on their caller ID looks familiar or legitimate. Scammers can spoof telephone numbers and make it appear they’re calling from a trusted source.
- Contact the authority represented through a legitimate contact source, not the one provided by the contactor (e.g., the phone number listed on an official website or phonebook).
- Stop communicating with the caller if they have a feeling something is not right. If in doubt, people should hang up or delete and do not continue communication.
Sgt. Andrew Joyce of Pictou County District RCMP urges everyone to speak to their parents and grandparents as well as neighbours about this particular scam.
Anyone who thinks they could be a victim, knows someone who could be a victim, or has information about these scams, is encouraged to contact police at 902-490-5020 and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or online at https://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/index-eng.htm.