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It's a scam-o-rama!

Tuesday, June 03, 2014   by: Staff


The Sault Ste. Marie Police Service Fraud Unit would once again like to inform the public of several scams that are targeting our city.
Police have recently received an increase in the amount of these type of complaints.

Emergency Parent/Grandparent Scam

This scam has been around for some time and is still active and targeting seniors. 

In a typical “emergency” scam, the victim receives a phone call or e-mail from someone claiming to be a friend or relative, like a grandchild, is in distress. 

The caller or e-mailer indicates that they are in some kind of trouble, such as being in a car crash, they need money for bail, or they are having trouble returning from a foreign country. 

The fraudster specifically asks that the victims not tell other relatives.

You may get a call from two people, one pretending to be your grandchild and the other pretending to be either a police officer or a lawyer.

Your “grandchild” asks questions during the call, getting victims to volunteer personal information.

Victims (often seniors) generally don't verify the story until after their money has been sent through a wire transfer service or they have given access to personal banking or credit card information.

To guard against becoming a victim, police advise you to first check with another family member or trusted friend to verify the information BEFORE sending money by Money Gram or Western Union or providing credit card information by phone or e-mail. 

It is vitally important that the incident be reported every time it occurs to allow police to investigate and find the perpetrators.

Reminder regarding telemarketing scams and mail fraud/identity theft

Criminals will hide behind the anonymity of the telephone and mail to try and swindle thousands of Canadians each year. 

Criminals tend to use the same selling strategies as legitimate companies to lure people. 

If you get a phone call, email or letter that sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

 Common Telemarketing Scams

  • You’ve won a prize in a contest you don’t recall entering
  • You’re offered an investment with huge returns
  • You can buy a ticket into a pool that cannot lose
  • You’ve won something but you must send payment for shipping, taxes, duties, etc.
  • You must give confidential bank or credit card information
  • You are told to send cash or money order only
  • The caller is very excited about your opportunity or wants to be your best friend
  • You are pressured to act immediately on a large purchase

 Prevention Tips and Reporting Scams and Frauds

  • It is not rude to hang up on a caller if you have doubts or suspicions. Criminal Telemarketers are persistent and relentless – hanging up on them is your best defence.
  • You have the right to request written information, to check references and to think over an offer. If the caller won’t oblige you, hang up. Remember that legitimate telemarketers have nothing to hide
  • Never provide personal or financial information over the phone

If you are a victim of fraud or have any question, contact the Sault Ste. Marie Fraud Unit at 705-949-6300 ext 388.


Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
Hounds Fan 6/3/2014 9:45:15 AM Report

People would be stupid to fall for these scams still...
aftica02 6/3/2014 9:49:26 AM Report

I get email scams too....I would like to forward them to the fraud unit. What is the email address??
Jamie333 6/3/2014 9:50:16 AM Report

I've been getting a lot of automated calls from different local numbers saying I've won thousands of air's getting on my nerves!
Sam C 6/3/2014 9:50:53 AM Report

HF... Some people are just very trusting. They wouldn't think of committing any of these scams, so they find it hard to believe others would.

The Grandparent scam is particularly successful because it plays strongly on their emotions.

Still, there are some scams that just scream "scam", and I, too, am surprised when people fall for them.
edz 6/3/2014 10:02:41 AM Report

you shouldn't be surprised Sam. You'll notice with the Nigeria scams especially, that the spelling and grammar are atrocious. This is on purpose as the scammers don't want people who can tell the difference to respond. Its the same kind of intelligence factor that gave us 11 years of theft and corruption we laughingly refer to as liberal rule in ontario.
guestwho 6/3/2014 10:14:54 AM Report

"gov " <> is the site
ThinkAgain 6/3/2014 10:54:38 AM Report

i get about 6+ scam emails monthly, I just deleted them, never knew if it was important to forward them to anyone special.
good4now 6/3/2014 10:58:43 AM Report

Do NOT Answer This Question:
I was called on the "Grandparents'" scam.
The first question asked is " Grandpa, do you know who this is?"
If you answer, the name to use has been identified, as well as the fact that you are a grandpa (or grandma).

If you are unsure ( coach old folks on this ), just make up a name like "Buddy"
If they confirm the false name, you know for sure its a scam.
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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