Arrest made in grandparent texting scam, link to B.C. victim: Peel police

Investigators say the grandparent scam started last year in June. A Peel Police shoulder patch is seen in Mississauga, Ont., on Saturday, July 1, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Arlyn McAdorey

A 39-year-old Toronto man has been arrested and is facing charges of fraud following a months-long investigation into a texting scam, police in Peel Region said Sunday.

The fraud bureau says the scam, targeting grandparents, launched in June 2023.

In the first reported incident, the victim received a text message from an unknown number, claiming to be a family member, and said they were using a friend’s phone as their phone had been damaged.

Text messages would continue to come in, saying there was an unpaid bill that needed “immediate attention.”

Once the victim agreed to send money, the suspect sent an email address to wire the funds to.

“The victim transferred thousands of dollars to the accused who they thought was family,” Peel police said in a release.

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“After contacting the legitimate family member, they realize they were a victim of a scam.”

During the course of their investigation, officers discovered a second victim in British Columbia.

Earlier this week, police located the suspect they believe to be behind the scam and arrested him.

Investigators say there are likely more victims and are encouraging them to come forward and file a report.

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