A recent uptick in grandparent scams has Winnipeg police launching an investigation.
In the grandparent scam, fraudsters will reach out to an elderly person while masquerading as a family member. Typically, scammers pretend to be in serious trouble and in immediate need of money.
In some instances, callers will involve another actor who’ll instruct victims to withdraw cash from their bank and later retrieve the money.
Officers say five victims have come forward this week reporting serious losses.
In each case, investigators have noticed a pattern of a man showing up at the victims’ homes to collect funds.
Police warn potential victims to be wary of any phone call that requests bail money for the release of a relative.
The identity of the caller should be verified first before disclosing personal information of any kind. Families can use code words, or the person receiving the call can contact the relative directly for confirmation.
Police also note law enforcement or other legal officials do not request money.
Anyone with information about anyone involved in grandparent scams is encouraged to contact the Financial Crime Unit at 204-986-6231 or Crime Stoppers at 204-786- 8477 (TIPS).