Police again fielding calls regarding ‘grandparent scam’

(© Can Stock Photo / aletia)

The so-called ‘grandparent scam’ is once again circulating across Ontario, including here in Sarnia-Lambton.

Sarnia police Cst. John Sottosanti said they’ve been getting calls from people who have been contacted by someone claiming that a loved one has been charged and needs money for legal fees.

He said the courts will never operate in this manner.

“We ask that people speak to somebody that may be more susceptible to this, such as their parents or a loved one that may fall victim to these scams,” said Sottosanti. “Warn them not to do anything other than call the actual family member and speak to them in person to determine if they do need assistance.”

Sottosanti admits these scammers can be very convincing.

“These people have had practice in regards to doing this,” he said. “They have their own little recipe. They will take it and twist it around to make it sound different than another scam. Overall, in the end, it’s the same scam over and over again.”

Sottosanti said scammers could also ask for payment via things like Bitcoin, Western Union, or gift cards which is an automatic red flag.

He said the best thing to do is to hang up, and if you haven’t given out any money, there’s no need to call the police.

West Region OPP issued a similar warning on Monday via Twitter.