Cab driver saves elderly local woman from being scammed out of thousands of dollars

By Lindsay Advocate

Yesterday a local cab driver suspected something sounded suspicious when their passenger said she needed a ride to the bank to withdraw money. Concerned she may be a victim of a scam, the cab driver called police. It was reported that the women had received a call stating her grandson was in jail and needed money for bail. Police spoke with the women and confirmed it was a scam. Thanks to the quick actions of the taxi driver no money was lost.

The Kawartha Lakes Police encourages everyone to educate elder relatives and friends by sharing the information below about this scam and what they can do to protect themselves.

The grandparent scam involves fraudsters attempting to scam older adults by pretending to be their grandchild or someone known to them in distress. It can even involve voice-changing technology as reported by CBC here.

The grandchild scam usually includes the suspect(s) posing as a grandchild or relative who calls the older adult from a distant location. They then advise of some trouble they are in that requires money, for example, stating they were involved in a collision or were arrested by police. The caller then asks for money to be sent via courier, wire transfer or gift cards to assist them.

To protect yourself and others from this scam, consider the following:

  • Don’t get flustered. Take time to think. The scammer will make it sound urgent to pressure you.
  • Do not confirm any personal or financial information.
  • Verify who is calling (offer to call back using the phone number you have for that person).
  • Call someone you trust or police for an opinion about the call (scammers will say they don’t want anyone to know because they are embarrassed).
  • Do not send any money.

If you believe you have been a victim of a similar scam, you can file a complaint with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre or contact Kawartha Lakes Police Service 705.324.5252.

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