UPDATE: 25-year-old arrested after Saskatoon hit hard by Grandparent Scam; “approximately $100,000 has been reported stolen”

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan – The Saskatoon Police Service Economic Crime Section has arrested a man in connection to multiple Family / Grandparent Emergency scams in the community.

On January 10, 2023, officers arrested a 25-year-old man in the 400 block of Nelson Road. Investigators believe he is responsible for numerous frauds, dating back to December 21, 2022.

The 25-year-old man has been charged with Fraud Over $5,000 (x7). Additional charges could be laid as the investigation continues.

The Economic Crime Section would like to thank the public for their assistance in this investigation, and investigators encourage anyone who may have been the victim of fraud to call the SPS at 306-975-8300.

(Court Information Number: 991219507)

BACKGROUND

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan – The Saskatoon Police Service Economic Crime Section is requesting information and cautioning the general public, regarding recent fraudulent activity in the community.

Over the past few weeks, the SPS has received multiple reports of Family/Grandparent Emergency scams, similar in nature to what was detailed in a previous release. In each case, it was reported to investigators that victims handed over money to a man claiming to be a courier, bailiff, or bail bondsman. This man is being described as tall, slim, well dressed, with a medium to dark complexion, and clean-cut hair/facial hair.

The suspect or suspects have consistently requested dollar amounts in the $9,000 to $9,800 range. A total of approximately $100,000 has been reported stolen during this time.

Grandparent scam
Grandparent scam (File Photo)

Generally, the suspect(s) have personal details regarding the victim’s family and friends upon initial contact. While it has not been confirmed, investigators believe this personal information might have been accessed online. The SPS advises the public to ensure privacy settings on their social media profiles and posts, or their family members profiles and posts, are set to private/stricter settings to help prevent this. The SPS also recommends family members contact those most vulnerable to these types of scams and make them aware of the details.

Anyone with relevant information or wanting to report an occurrence of fraud is asked to call the SPS at 306-975-8300.

Warning Signs – How to Protect Yourself

Confirm with other relatives the whereabouts of the family member or friend.

Police, Judges, government authorities, or legal entities will never request that money be sent by courier or in the mail.

Never voluntarily give out family member’s names or information to unknown callers.

Always question urgent requests for money.

Find out more information here: saskatoonpolice.ca/economic/

BACKGROUND

Release 2022-0563:

As families connect throughout the holiday season, the Saskatoon Police Service Economic Crime Section is alerting the public to recent reports of victimization through the Family/Grandparent Emergency Scam.

This scam includes a potential victim, often an older adult, receiving a phone call from someone claiming to be a family member in an emergency and requiring money for bail or hospital bills. The fraudsters may also work in tandem and connect the victim to a second person claiming to be a police officer, lawyer, doctor, or other authority. The payment is often requested as cash via mail carrier, gift cards, or cryptocurrency. This is a scam! Any legitimate authority would never make such requests.

If you receive a suspicious phone call, ask important questions of the caller to try to verify their identity but refrain from offering additional details yourself. Alternatively, hang up and call that family member directly to verify their location and well-being and/or connect with other relatives to fact check the call. If the caller is claiming to be law enforcement or hospital staff, hang up and call that authority directly to verify the information.

Fraudsters leverage urgency and panic to coerce the victim into complying with their request. Always use extreme caution, especially when being asked to send a form of currency. If you have received such a call and suspect fraud, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre; if you have become the victim of fraud, report it to the Saskatoon Police Service online or by calling 306-975-8300.

(Occurrence Number: 22-147763)

Saskatoon Police Service

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