The Cobourg Police Service (CPS) advises citizens to be cautious of a scam targeting seniors that continues to occur throughout our region. CPS encourages community members to speak with older adult family members about emergency fraud to help protect against scams and frauds after receiving two reports of grandparent scams (also called emergency scams) in the last week.
In the most recent report, a 79-year-old victim was defrauded $15,000 after receiving a call from a scammer posing as a grandchild in legal trouble. A second scammer posed as a police officer demanding money for the grandchild’s legal problems. The scammers arranged to pick up the cash from the victim’s home.
If you received a call like this and have arranged to transfer cash, please call police for assistance.
This type of phone scam targets older adults and plays on emotional vulnerabilities using urgency to trick people into sending large amounts of money. It is important to note that police and government agencies will never demand money over the phone or in person.
Recognize the red flags. In a grandparent scam, fraudsters may:
• Pose as a grandchild (family member or family friend) in trouble and in need of money.
• Pose as a police officer or lawyer saying that a family member is sick, injured, or in jail and requires large amounts of money to solve their situation.
• Request money to be delivered to or picked up by an unknown person.
• Tell you not to tell anyone and provide a fake code word.
If you receive a call like this, hang up immediately and call someone you trust or the police for an opinion about the call you just received.
Take the time to talk to your family and friends about fraud prevention.
If you or a family member were a victim of fraud, please contact the CPS at 905-372-6821 or the law enforcement agency in your jurisdiction. If a scammer has contacted you or a family member, report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at or by phone 1-888-495-8501 (toll free).
Please visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website for a list of known scams, and to learn more about how to protect yourself.