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Telephone Scams Targeting Seniors - The Grandparents Fraud

In Canada, thousands of people are victims of telephone scams each year. Most of the people targeted are the elderly Fraudsters claim to be someone close to the family with an urgent problem that requires an amount of money (accident, legal dispute or other problem). Often, fraudsters manipulate their victims into giving them thousands of dollars.

Defrauder's Method

  • The defrauder generally contacts you by phone.
  • He asks if you recognize him.
  • You think it's your grandson calling and you automatically say his name.
  • The defrauder then uses that name to seem credible. He asks you to send him a large sum of money, saying there is an urgent situation (car accident /  held in jail).
  • If you agree to transfer the funds or give money in person to someone else, you will never see your money again.

Prevention tips

  • If a caller asks if you recognize him, just say "no".
  • Ask personal questions that only your grandson could answer.
  • Refuse to give money until you check the caller's story with other members of your family.
  • Ask for a phone number to call him back or tell him to call you later so you have time to check out his story. In doubt, don't hesitate to hang up.
  • Remember that you can always say "no", even to a family member.


If you are a victim of fraud or theft, or if you think you might be, immediately contact the following resources for help:

Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) - 911

Elder Abuse Help Line: 1-888-489-2287

Tel-Aînés: 514-353-2463

Canadian Anti-Fraud Center: 1-888-495-8501