OPP say there have been three elaborate and organized fraud occurrences that have occurred recently throughout the province, where elderly women have been called by a man claiming to be an officer saying that their grandson had been arrested.
In the first case, an 84-year-old woman was contacted by a man claiming to be 'Corporal Matheson.' He stated that her grandson had been arrested after a minor vehicle collision with his friend where drugs were located in the vehicle.
In order for him to be released, she had to provide $10,000 in cash. She spoke to whom she thought was her grandson, who told her he was sick and was on his way for a COVID test when the accident occurred, explaining why he was stuffed up. The grandmother got the money which was picked up by a courier. The 'officer' called back the following day and told her the charges were dropped but she would have to pay $12,000 for his fine. She did as instructed and a courier again picked up the money.
In the second case, a 73-year-old woman was contacted by a man claiming to be her grandson, and that he was arrested after being pulled over in a vehicle that was driven by his friend, and drugs were found. The woman asked to speak to the officer and a man identified himself as 'Constable Johnston.' She was told to withdraw $6,000 for bail which she did, and was picked up by a courier. The following day the 'officer' told her an additional $9,000 would be required for the charges being dropped. The victim again obliged.
In a third case, an 83-year-old grandmother was contacted by a man who identified himself as 'Corporal Matheson' notifying her that her grandson was in custody as a result of a vehicle stop where drugs were located. She reported that her grandson got on the phone and sounded like him, but was sick. He claimed he was on his way for a COVID test when the vehicle stop occurred. She was told to withdraw $8,000 and leave it under her doormat and a courier would pick it up. The 'officer' called for better directions to her house at which time she said she was phoning her grandson and the man hung up the phone. Money was not picked up.
- Male caller claiming to be a police officer
- Elderly females who live in rural areas (two live alone, one with husband on a farm)
- Bail money is for grandsons who have been arrested with drugs in the vehicle that they were passengers in while on their way to get a COVID test
- "Grandson's" get to talk to their grandmother in their congested voice
- Delivery services pick up the money
Police will never:
- Demand money to have someone arrested released from custody
- Demand money for payment of fine
- Involve courier company to transport payment
If you or someone you know suspects they have been targeted by a phone call scam, contact your local OPP detachment, nearest police authority, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.