The Clearwater Police Department is investigating a scheme to defraud case commonly known as the Canadian Granny Scam. Recently, a Clearwater woman fell victim to this scam and lost thousands of dollars. A man who claimed to be the victim’s grandson called the victim and said he had been arrested for a DUI crash while visiting Canada. He told the victim he needed more than $5,000 to pay restitution and be released from jail. A second man, who claimed to be the imposter grandson’s lawyer, called a short time later with information necessary to wire the money. The victim transferred the money to a location in Quebec, since she believed the original caller sounded like her grandson.
This telephone scam, which targets senior citizens, has been around for years. With the Granny Scam, the caller pretends to be a grandchild in trouble in Canada who needs money immediately. The caller often says he has been arrested, was in a car accident or had some type of medical emergency. The scammer asks the victim to wire money to help with bail, hospital bills or damages. With this scam, the caller always insists the grandparents don’t tell any other family members about the money transfer, for fear of getting in more trouble. That should be a warning.
Seniors should be suspicious of anyone calling, asking them to wire money. To confirm the caller’s identity, seniors should ask questions, like parents’ birthdates or some other type of information, known only to family members