Scam medium:

  • Email and text
  • Phone and fax


  • Individuals

Emergency scams prey on your fear of a loved one being hurt or in trouble. Scammers claim to be someone you know and tell you they need money immediately.

Scenarios they may use include:

Reports are showing a new variation where fraudsters contact you via email or text message, claiming to be a loved one asking for a favour. For this favour, they'll ask you to send money or gift cards.

Fraudsters will

Variation: Broken phone scam

The CAFC is getting reports about a fraudulent emergency text or social media message. The fraudster might claim to be a family member or loved one saying that their cellphone is broken or has been dropped in water. The fraudster will then provide an alternate phone number to contact them at. The fraudster will proceed to ask for a favor by requesting funds from the victim to repair the broken phone or to pay a bill.

This is a screenshot from a reported emergency scam using the broken phone variation (example in English only).

Variation: Grandparent scams

A senior gets a phone call, typically on their home phone/landline, from a caller claiming to be their grandchild or calling on behalf of their grandchild. They say they need money as soon as possible, whether to pay bail, lawyers fees, hospital fees, ambulance fees, etc. They will say the payment is needed immediately to avoid going to jail or to be released from jail.

How to protect yourself

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