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Police issue grandparent scam warning

Waterloo Regional Police issued a warning to members of the public to be wary of the grandparent scam, which involves fraudsters attempting to scam older adults by pretending to be their grandchild or someone known to them in distress.

The grandchild scam usually includes the suspect(s) posing as a grandchild or relative who calls the older adult from a distant location. They then advise of some trouble they are in that requires money, for example, stating they were involved in a collision or were arrested by police. The caller then asks for money to be sent via courier, wire transfer or gift cards to assist them. 

One instance involved an 89-year-old Cambridge resident. The victim received a phone call from a male claiming to be their grandson. The fraudster had advised that they had been in a car accident in Montreal and needed $3,000 to pay the other driver. The fraudster instructed the victim to withdraw $3,000 and send the money via UPS to a Montreal address and directed them not to tell anyone. The victim later received two additional phone calls requesting that more money be sent to the address provided.

Through investigation, police were able to recover $3,000 of the victim’s money, however, the victim still suffered a financial loss. 

To protect yourself and others from this scam, police advise the following:

  • Don’t get flustered. Take time to think. The scammer will make it sound urgent to pressure you.
  • Do not confirm any personal or financial information.
  • Verify who is calling (offer to call back using the phone number you have for that person).
  • Call someone you trust or police for an opinion about the call (scammers will say they don’t want anyone to know because they are embarrassed).
  • Do not send any money.

If you believe you have been a victim of a similar scam, you can file a complaint with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre or contact Waterloo Regional Police at 519-570-9777. 

JANUARY 25

3:54 PM | Emergency crews responded to a single-vehicle collision on Three Bridges Road and Hemlock Hill Drive in Woolwich Township where a vehicle travelling south on Three Bridges Road lost control and struck a fence. There were no physical injuries reported. The driver, a 17-year-old from Woolwich Township, was charged with ‘careless driving.’

JANUARY 26

4:42 AM |  Unknown suspect(s) were observed entering parked vehicles in the area Sawmill Road and St. Charles Street West in Bloomingdale. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 519-570-9777 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.  

12:01 PM | Sometime in the previous 24 hours, unknown suspect(s) entered the yard of a business in the area of Geddes Street in Wellesley Township and stole property. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 519-570-9777 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. 

JANUARY 27

9:16 AM | Waterloo Regional Police received a report of an assaultive male on Woolwich Street South in Breslau. As a result of the investigation, a 37-year-old Woolwich man was charged with ‘assault a police officer’ and four counts of assault. The man was held in custody for a bail hearing.

9:35 AM | Police received a report of a single-vehicle collision on Hessen Strasse in Wellesley Township. Icy and snowy conditions saw the driver lose control of the vehicle, which left the road and struck a fence. The driver was treated at the scene by Region of Waterloo Paramedics.

JANUARY 28

4:03 PM | A collision brought police to Weimar Line and Moser Young Road in Bamberg. A vehicle was travelling east on Weimar Line when the driver stopped for a stop sign. A second vehicle was travelling north on Moser Young Road when the driver of the first vehicle entered the intersection and struck the second vehicle. There were no physical injuries reported. A 19-year-old Wellesley Township man was charged with ‘fail to yield to through highway.’

JANUARY 29

1:00 AM | Perth County OPP officers were conducting a RIDE program on Mill Street East in Perth East, when a vehicle stop was conducted. During the investigation, it was determined that the driver had consumed alcohol. They were arrested, and transported to a local operations centre for further testing. A 33-year-old Perth East man was charged with ‘operation while impaired – blood alcohol concentration (80 plus).’ His licence was suspended for 90 days and his vehicle seized for a week. The accused is scheduled to appear at the Ontario Court of Justice in Stratford at a later date to answer to the charge. 

2:32 PM | Waterloo Regional Police responded to a two-vehicle collision at the intersection of First and Arthur streets in Elmira. A Toyota was proceeding west on First Street through a green light when it was struck by a Nissan heading south on Arthur Street. The driver of the Toyota suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was treated at the scene by Region of Waterloo paramedics. A 63-year-old Perth County woman was charged with ‘red light – fail to stop.’

JANUARY 31

11:47 AM | unknown suspect(s) damaged a mail box in the area of Ament Line and Hawkesville Road in Wellesley Township. Anyone with additional information regarding this incident is asked to call police at 519-570-9777 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. Anonymous tips can also be submitted online.

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