Portage la Prairie senior scammed out of $7,200 in fake grandson phone scheme

RCMP in Portage La Prairie are investigating after an 87-year-old woman was scammed out of more than $7,200 in a fake grandson phone scam. . Global News

RCMP in Portage La Prairie are investigating after an 87-year-old woman was scammed out of more than $7,200 in a fake grandson phone scam.

On Friday at 6:30 p.m. police went to the woman’s home, where they learned she had gotten a phone call from her ‘grandson’ stating he had been in a collision, where he struck a pregnant woman, and he was now in police custody.

The man on the phone said she now had to speak to his lawyer and provided the woman with an alternative number.

She called the number and another man answered pretending to be the lawyer and directed her to get cash from the bank and he would send someone to her home to get it. She was told not to tell anyone as the matter was confidential.

Police say the woman went to the bank and withdrew the cash and then returned home. A man came to her door and took the money and left.

Story continues below advertisement

The woman became concerned when she had not gotten a call from either the supposed lawyer or her grandson and she attempted to call the number she was given once again but nobody answered.

She then called other family members and found out her grandson was in fact at work and had no contact with any police. It was then that she realized she had been scammed.

Click to play video: 'Cops warn of crypto scam after Winnipegger loses $168,000'
Cops warn of crypto scam after Winnipegger loses $168,000

“This is absolutely devastating for this victim,” said Insp. Paul Peddle, officer in charge of Portage la Prairie RCMP.

“She truly believed she was helping her grandson. The information the suspect gave her about the alleged crime was very specific, and the fact that they had the audacity to pretend to be her grandson shows the lengths these criminals are willing to go to scam people out of their money.

Story continues below advertisement

“We want to remind everyone that bail is not paid in cash in Canada. Also, if you get any request for assistance from a family member, make sure to call them back on a familiar number, or call an independent family member at a known number to confirm the information.”

It is not known if artificial intelligence was used to mimic the grandson’s voice on the phone call.

Police continue to investigate. They say the suspect who showed up to retrieve the money was a man in his mid-20s. He had curly black hair and was wearing a black, long-sleeved, vest-type jacket and dark pants.

Anyone with any information is asked to call Portage la Prairie RCMP at 204-857-4445 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477, or leave a secure tip online.

Sponsored content