Grand Scams
March 20, 2023

Did you know that March is International Fraud Prevention Month? It’s intended to raise awareness about fraud and scams in order to prevent them.

One scam that really makes my blood boil (and sadly, there are many to choose from) is the “grandparent” scam. There are several variations, but most go something like this: 

  • a grandparent gets a call that their grandchild has been in an accident, is in jail and needs money for bail immediately. The grandparent rushes to make the payment, either electronically or in person.

According to police, the fraudsters are very convincing and count on the emotional factor. Amounts involved have been as much as $30,000. 

If you receive a suspicious call, police recommend you do the following:

  • Never provide or confirm any personal or financial information over the phone. 
  • Always verify who’s calling. If they claim it’s a family member, tell them you’ll call them back and use the number you have for this person.
  • Create a family “code word” to verify identity. 
  • Don’t be pressured. Take some time to process what you’ve been told. Does it makes sense? Check with a trusted friend or call your local police. Sadly, there is often a lot of shame around falling victim to a scam, and a reluctance to tell other family members or report it.
  • It may seem obvious, but try to educate yourself, your kids and your parents about the latest scams because there are always new ones. 
Media and Marketing manager with her grandma Pat are standing at a berry farm in BC. Pat knows how to recognize scams over the phone!
Media and Marketing Manager Lauren Robilliard with her grandma Pat in BC last summer.
(photo credit: Lauren Robilliard)