Man arrested for grandparent scam, RCMP warn of increase in similar fraud

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A man, also wanted out of Alberta on a warrant for fraud, is behind bars in Manitoba after a grandparent scam.

On Feb. 28, Mounties said a 79-year-old woman went to the Stonewall RCMP detachment and told officers she believed she was the victim of a grandparent scam.

A few days earlier, police said she was called by someone who said he was her grandson, and that he needed bail money after being arrested following a car crash in Winnipeg. She was told to take out $8,000 in cash, and that it would be picked up at her home, authorities said.

Later, she got a phone call from someone who said they were her grandson’s lawyer and told her the money would be picked up by courier, RCMP said. She was told not to tell anyone.

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Police said a man then came by the home and picked up the money.

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The next day, the woman was called yet again by the same suspect and told to take out another $8,000 to pay fines and exonerate her grandson, officers said. She did.

Just a couple of days later, she was called again and asked “for another large sum of money,” authorities said. This time, went she went to her bank and one of the employees told her she might be involved in a scam.

Someone was supposed to come back to her home later that day, and when he did, RCMP intercepted and arrested him, police said.

He has been charged with fraud over $5,000.

Manitoba RCMP said there has been a rise in grandparent scams. Since the beginning of 2024, there have been about 13 similar occurrences in southern Manitoba, with an estimated loss of $70,000.

“We believe there may be more victims of this scam and are asking the public to report any similar frauds to your local police as soon as possible,” RCMP said.

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