Seniors Scam Awareness
February 22, 2023

Protecting Seniors from the Grandparent Scam: What You Need to Know

The 'grandparent scam' is a fraudulent scheme that preys on the emotions and urgencies of seniors. The scammers use various tactics to make their victims believe that their grandchild is in an emergency situation and urgently needs money. The scammer will often claim that the grandchild is in trouble and that they need money for bail, medical expenses, or other emergency situations. Unfortunately, this scam has become more prevalent in recent years, with seniors losing millions of dollars every year.

To help combat the grandparent scam, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and the RCMP have partnered up to launch a campaign to raise awareness about the scam and to provide seniors with information and resources to protect themselves.

The first step to protecting yourself from the grandparent scam is to be aware of how it works. The scammer will often call or email the victim, claiming to be the victim's grandchild. They may use the grandchild's name, or other personal information to make their story more believable. The scammer will then claim that the grandchild is in trouble and needs money immediately. They may ask the victim to send money through a wire transfer or a gift card, making it difficult for the victim to retrieve their money once it's sent.

To avoid falling for the grandparent scam, seniors should be wary of unsolicited calls or emails asking for money. If a caller claims to be a grandchild in trouble, ask for their name and contact information. Verify the information by calling their parents or other family members. If the call or email seems suspicious, it's best to hang up or delete the message.

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and the RCMP also recommend that seniors discuss the grandparent scam with family and friends. If you know someone who has been a victim of the scam, offer them support and encourage them to report it to the authorities. Reporting scams is important to help prevent others from falling for the same scheme.