On Wednesday of this week Brandon Police Service (BPS) received over 30 calls from residents reporting the grandparent scam. Similar calls where the caller pretends to be the grandchild and was in an accident and needs money for bail.  A few callers pretended to be a lawyer for the grandchild and offered to help make arrangements to get the money to assist their grandchild.  Only one complainant reported sending $9000 in bit coin currency. This matter is under investigation.

Please hang up on these scam artists and DO NOT GIVE ANYONE OR SEND ANYONE MONEY!!! ~ Brandon Police Service

BPS Information Officer, Dana McCallum, says this is very much the same type of scam they have seen in the past, where someone calls pretending to be their granddaughter or grandson trying to convince the resident that they've been involved in an accident, or they're in trouble and need bail money to be released from jail.

"The caller then gives further details telling the resident they need to go to their bank and withdraw the money," explains Sgt McCallum. "There were a few incidents where the people were actually stopped by bank employees to let them know that this was, in fact, a scam and thankfully no money was exchanged."

The bit coin currency money transaction seems to have been done through an ATM machine without the service of a bank teller.

Sgt. McCallum suggests AI (Artificial Intelligence) may be playing a factor in convincing residents they are who they claim to be.  "A couple of the complainants reported that the caller did in fact sound like their family member, and in a couple of the cases the caller had indicated that they had broken their nose in the accident and that was why their voice sounded off."

"The biggest thing is that people need to ensure that when they're getting these phone calls, that they're hanging up right away," she says.  "They're not giving anyone money or sending money in any way.  And if you have any questions or concern about a phone you have received, please call us and we'll look further into the matter."

"Also, when you're at the bank, listen to the advice of the tellers there.  If they're indicating that something doesn't sound right and you shouldn't be sending the money, don't send the money."

Sgt. McCallum suggests that if you are concerned that the caller might truly be a grand child who is in desperate need of your help, hang up and then call a family member yourself to check if there is something wrong with that grandchild.  Do your own research with a trusted family member and don't rely on the person who is calling you.

"What to me is very concerning, is that it's our vulnerable seniors who seem to be targets of this and they have good intentions wanting to help out their grandchildren, and it's not in fact the grand children who are calling," adds Sgt McCallum.

For general inquiries or to file a report:

(204)729-2345 or https://www.brandon.ca/police-contact/police-contact

Anyone with information on any unsolved crime is asked to call Brandon Crime Stoppers at 204-727-(TIPS) 8477, www.brandoncrimestoppers.com or by texting BCSTIP and your message to CRIMES (274637).  Crime Stoppers pays up to $2000.00 cash for information that leads to the solution of a crime.