West Parry Sound OPP are warning people of the “grandparent scam” after suspects separately called three elderly women and claimed to be a police officer purporting that their grandsons had been arrested.
In one instance, a man called an 84-year-old woman, claiming to be “Corporal Matheson.” He told the woman that her grandson was arrested after a minor crash with his friend and that drugs were found in the car.
In order for her grandson to be released, the man told the 84-year-old woman that she had to pay $10,000 in cash. She spoke to someone who sounded congested and pretended to be her grandson.
The purported grandson said he was “sick” and on the way for a COVID test when the crash happened, which was supposed to explain why he was stuffed up.
The woman then provided money, which was picked up by a courier. The fraudulent officer called her back the next day and told her the charges were dropped, though she would have to pay $12,000 for her grandson’s fine.
The woman did as instructed and the courier picked up the money.
A similar situation happened with another 73-year-old woman, who was contacted by a fraudulent “Constable Johnston” and asked to pay a total of $15,000. The woman obliged.
An 83-year-old woman was also contacted by a man who identified himself as “Corporal Matheson” and requested $8,000. When the fraudster called for better directions to the woman’s house to pick up the money, she said she was phoning a family member and the man hung up the phone. The money wasn’t picked up.
Police say officers will never demand money to have someone arrested released from custody, demand money for payment of a fine and involve a courier company to transport money.