"Emergency" or "Grandparent" Scam on the Rise in Hamilton


The Hamilton Police Service has seen an increase in the number of "emergency" or "grandparent" scams reported.

Under this scam, the victim receives a call from a fraudster posing as a grandchild or other family member. The fraudster claims they have been arrested and need bail money or financial help in an emergency.

The fraudster will ask the victim not to call other family as they do not want anyone to find out.  Often, the fraudster will turn the phone over to another person, who will claim to be a lawyer or law enforcement official. The victim is then told to send money to a bank account or via courier to an address.

The Hamilton Police provides the following advice should you receive such a call:

•      Be suspicious of calls that demand money or immediate action.

•      No law enforcement agency will demand immediate payment of currency.

•      Never offer information to the caller.

•      If the fraudster asks a question like "Do you know who this is?”, simply say no and have them tell you.

•      Contact another family member to confirm the story.

•      Remember to never send money to someone under uncertain conditions.

•      Don't be afraid to say "No".

If you believe you have fallen victim to such a scam, please contact the Hamilton Police non-emergency line at 905-546-4925.

More Resources

Cyber Crime, Computer and Internet Safety – provides information regarding online frauds and crimes.

Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre – provides more advice on scams and frauds and current types of frauds.

Competition Bureau's Information Centre – provides information regarding laws businesses must follow.

Office of Consumer Affairs – provides information about common scams that occur in your own province or territory.