Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre supports OPP in major grandparent fraud investigation

April 18, 2024
Ottawa, Ontario

News release

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) welcomes the news today about the results of an Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) investigation into an emergency scam variation targeting the elderly often referred to as "grandparents scam". Scammers claim to be someone they know, such as a grandchild, and tell them they need money immediately. The CAFC is tracking a number of other variations of emergency scams including those occurring by text message or social media. These frauds are a persistent and evolving threat to Canadians.

This is at least the third major investigation since 2021 resulting in the arrest of individuals behind this type of fraud. The OPP arrests highlight that these frauds are carried out by serious and organized fraud groups based in Québec and national in scope.

The CAFC supported this investigation by linking and sharing fraud reports from victims across Canada and from law enforcement partners with the OPP. The CAFC successfully flagged numerous fraudulent bank accounts used to facilitate some of the occurrences.

Since 2021, Canadian police arrested more than 70 money mules picking up money at victim residences in every province. According to data collected by the CAFC, the emergency scam resulted in over $23M in losses across Canada.

The CAFC is reminding the public to be on the look out for emergency frauds and offers the following advice:

Anyone who suspects they have been the victim of cybercrime or fraud should report it to their local police and to the CAFC's online reporting system or by phone at 1-888-495-8501. If not a victim, report it to the CAFC anyway.

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