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OPP warn grandparent scams on the rise

Reported losses totalled $11.3 million in 2023, including $4.6 million in losses for Ontario residents

Ontario Provincial Police are warning about emergency grandparent scams targeting individuals in western Ontario. 

From New Year's Day until Friday, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) has received reports totalling more than $491,000 in victim losses. Reported losses totalled $11.3 million in 2023, including $4.6 million in losses for Ontario residents.

The scam occurs when a senior receives a phone call from someone who impersonates their grandchild to gain credibility. The caller will claim to be in trouble with police and request money to get released on bail. Often, they will say they were in a car collision and drugs were found in the vehicle or they are involved in motor vehicle collision where the other driver suffered serious injuries. 

The "grandchild" will tell the victim they do not want their parents to know and ask the victim to keep it a secret, or that there is a gag order. To make the story seem more credible, the caller might also put another person on the phone to act like a police officer, bail bondsman or lawyer. The victim, wanting to help, will withdraw from their bank account. 

The scammer will arrange for a courier to come to the victim's home to collect the money. On other occasions, the money is sent through a money transfer service where the scammer can then pick it up at any location across the world.

To learn more about Emergency-Grandparent scams and other frauds visit If you become a victim of a fraud or know someone who has, contact police to report the crime and report it to the CAFC at 1-888-495-8501 even if a financial loss did not occur.