Police issue grandparent scam warning for Waterloo Region; 30 incidents
Woolwich & Wellesley Township's Local Community Newspaper | Elmira, Ontario, Canada
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Police issue grandparent scam warning for Waterloo Region; 30 incidents since February

Waterloo Regional Police Service issued a warning to older adults in the community after receiving several reports of fraud targeting that population.

In the grandparent scam – also known as the emergency scam – the fraudster contacts the victim, claiming that a family member is in crisis and needs money. While the fraudster can claim to be any family member (e.g., aunt, uncle, child, spouse) or friend, grandparents may be particularly vulnerable. 

Typically, a call is made from someone claiming to be the victim’s grandchild. They will state they are in trouble, such as having been arrested or involved in a collision and need money. Usually, the victim is instructed to send money immediately. Sometimes a second call will be made from someone pretending to be a lawyer or police officer. The victims are often told they cannot talk about the investigation with anyone and advised that they will go to jail if they talk about it.

Between February and July, more than 30 of these incidents were reported in the region, with losses exceeding $185,000.

In each of these four most recent incidents, victims ranging in age from 50 to 87 were targeted. The suspects claimed to be RCMP officers on the phone and sent a delivery driver to collect the money. The delivery driver was described as a white or Asian female, approximately 5’1” tall, and was wearing a white T-shirt and dark shorts.

The investigations of these frauds are ongoing by the Waterloo Regional Police Service’s Organized Financial Crime Team.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call police at 519-570-9777 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. Anonymous tips can also be submitted at www.waterloocrimestoppers.com.

To protect yourself and others from this type of scam, police advise:

  • Take time to think. The fraudster will make it sound urgent to pressure you.
  • Contact the family member in question. Emotions might be running high but take the time to check.
  • Ask questions only family members would know.
  • Call someone you trust or police for an opinion about the call (fraudsters 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.

JULY 16

11:00 AM | Perth County OPP responded to a single-vehicle collision on Perth Line 86. Through the course of the investigation, the officer had reason to believe the driver was impaired. The driver and two passengers were transported to a local hospital for minor injuries. As a result, a 58-year-old Kitchener woman was charged with ‘operation while impaired – alcohol and drugs.’ A 90-day license suspension and a seven-day vehicle impoundment were initiated as per statute. The accused is scheduled to appear at the Ontario Court of Justice in Stratford at a later date to answer to the charge.

4:24 PM | Waterloo Regional Police responded to reports of a disturbance on Arthur Street South in Woolwich Township. A motorist observed a male urinating in the area and stopped to confront the suspect male. A physical altercation ensued with the suspect assaulting the motorist. The male then spat on several others who attempted to intervene. Upon arrival police arrested the male. While in police custody, the male attempted to spit on an officer. As a result of the investigation, a 27-year-old man was charged with two counts of ‘assault’ and two counts of ‘assault a peace officer.’

JULY 18

7:46 AM | Police responded to reports of a collision at Snyders Road East and Notre Dame Drive in Wilmot Township. The driver of a vehicle attempted a left turn from Notre Dame onto Snyders Road and was struck by an oncoming vehicle. As a result of the investigation, the driver was charged with ‘turn not in safety.’

3:19 PM | A collision involving a truck and Ford SUV brought police to the area of Gingerich Road and Sandhills Road in Wilmot Township. Through investigation, it was determined that the driver of the truck did not stop at a stop sign. The driver of the truck was charged with ‘failing to stop.’

4:39 PM | Waterloo Regional Police were called to a collision involving two vehicles in the area of Wellington Road 85 and Listowel Road in Wellesley Township. The investigation found that one driver attempted a left turn onto Listowel Road and was struck by the other vehicle. As a result of the investigation, the driver making the left was charged with ‘turn not in safety.’

JULY 19

5:00 PM | Perth County OPP and the Perth County Paramedic Services responded to a collision on Line 67 in the Township of Perth East. Two people were transported to a local hospital with minor injuries. Subsequently, a 36-year-old resident of St. Jacobs was charged with ‘fail to yield from driveway.’ The accused was issued a Provincial Notice for the offence. Anyone with information regarding this or any incident is asked to call the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or online at www.opp.ca/reporting. Should you wish to remain anonymous you can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or leave an anonymous online message at www.P3tips.com where you may be eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $2,000.

JULY 20

12:39 PM | Emergency services responded to reports of a collision between a dump truck and a car on Arthur Street North, near Cedar Springs Road. The driver of the car, a 72-year-old Cambridge man, was transported by air ambulance to an out-of-region hospital with life-threatening injuries. Arthur Street North was closed between Cedar Springs Road and Side Road 5 for several hours. The investigation is ongoing. Anyone who witnessed the collision or has dashcam footage is encouraged to call police at 519-570-9777, ext. 8856.

JULY 22

9:00 PM | Officers from Waterloo Regional Police Service’s Traffic Services Unit continue to investigate a fatal collision in Wellesley Township. Emergency crews responded to Lobsinger Line, near Herrgott Road, following multiple reports of a single-vehicle collision. Police determined that the driver of a black Mitsubishi lost control of the vehicle, which left the roadway, struck a hydro pole and rolled over. The driver and lone occupant, a 27-year-old Kitchener man, was pronounced deceased. Lobsinger Line was closed for several hours between Herrgott Road and Moser Young Road as police investigated at the scene. The investigation is ongoing by members of our Traffic Services Unit. Anyone with information or who may have dash-cam or surveillance video is asked to call police at 519-570-9777, extension 8856. To submit anonymous tips, please call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.waterloocrimestoppers.com.

JULY 25

3:30 PM | Two people died following a collision in Mapleton Township. Wellington County OPP responded to a report of a collision involving a commercial motor vehicle and a pickup truck at the intersection of Wellington Road 8 and Wellington Road 10 near Moorefield. The driver of the pickup truck, a 76-year-old Tiverton man, was pronounced dead at the scene. The passenger, a 29-year-old Tiverton man, was airlifted to a nearby trauma centre with life-threatening injuries, where he later died. Wellington Road 8 and Wellington Road 10 were closed in both directions for several hours. Police are asking any person with further information regarding this incident to please contact the Wellington County OPP at 1-888-310-1122.  Should you wish to remain anonymous, you may call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or submit a tip on-line at www.csgw.tips. You may be eligible for a reward from Crime Stoppers of up to $2,000.

7:35 | Emergency services responded to the area of Schummer Line and Hutchinson Road in Wellesley Township for reports of a shed fire. Police and the Wellesley Fire Department attended and quickly extinguished the fire. There were no injuries reported. The cause of the fire is considered suspicious and the investigation remains ongoing by WRPS’ General Investigations Unit. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 519-570-9777 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. Anonymous tips can also be submitted at www.waterloocrimestoppers.com

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