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OPP Provincial Constable offering advice to avoid “grandparent scams”

“Anyone asking you for any money, whatsoever, should always be questioned.” 

That’s OPP Provincial Constable Dave Holmes’ advice for how to spot fraud and scams. He says questioning why someone needs money will help you notice if something suspicious is happening. ( spoke with Holmes about fraud after the OPP put out a warning to residents of a spike in “grandparent scams” targeting seniors in recent weeks. 

The fraud tactic sees scammers calling people pretending to be relatives, who say they need large sums of money. 

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“We had an incident the other day where unfortunately a victim lost $6,800, approximately, after the perpetrator did actually attend the home to retrieve the funds.” 

Holmes says you should be concerned if someone claiming to be your relative says they need money urgently, and if they tell you to keep it a secret. 

“There’s an element of secrecy that they try to put in there,” he explains, “such as, ‘please don’t tell dad, he would be so mad about it, just try and keep it as secret as possible.’” 

Holmes adds that the best way to avoid getting scammed is to educate yourself on the tactics fraudsters use. 

If you want to learn more, or you think you’ve been the victim of a scam, he says you should visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre’s website. 

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