Waterloo Regional Police reported that an 87-year-old woman from Kitchener narrowly escaped falling victim to a grandparent scam thanks to the intervention of bank staff. The scammers called the elderly woman on Tuesday, claiming that her granddaughter had been detained and urgently needed $20,000 for bail.
To avoid suspicion, the con artists convinced the grandmother not to disclose the reason for the withdrawal during the money transfer. However, the employees at Scotiabank on Krug Street in Heritage Park recognized the situation as a scam and intervened when the woman attempted to withdraw the funds.
The bank staff had previously received training on combating this specific type of scam, allowing them to identify the fraudulent scheme and protect the woman from financial loss. They not only provided support to the woman but also prevented any money from being transferred to the scammers.
Elder fraud, such as the grandparent scam, is becoming increasingly common in financial fraud schemes. Fraudsters typically impersonate loved ones over the phone and request money from grandparents. This form of scam, also known as phishing, can also occur through text messages and emails. In 2023 alone, the police reported 46 cases of grandparent scams in Canada.