This is listed as one of the top 3 scams reported to the Canadian Anti Fraud Centre and is in the Better Business Bureau’s top 10 scams. In a typical scenario, a senior gets a call from a con-artist posing as a grandchild in need of money. The exchange follows the lines of:

Con-Artist: “Hi Grandma/Grandpa.”

Victim: “Hello.”

Con-Artist: “Do you know who this is?”

Victim: “Mike?”

Con-Artist: “Yeah, Grandma/Grandpa, It’s Mike, I need your help.”

The ‘grandchild’ insists that the ‘grandparent’ not tell anyone for fear of getting into trouble. Some of the common reasons given for needing money are a car accident, bail money, or the ‘grandchild’ is stranded and needs money to get home. They ask the ‘grandparent’ to wire them money through Western Union or Money Gram as soon as possible stating they are “in a lot of trouble and scared”, or something to that effect.

Tips on the Grandparent Scam

  • Get more information before you take any actions
  • Get in touch with ‘grandchild’s’ parents, to verify the story


If you suspect a friend or family member is misusing your finances seek counsel with someone you trust - such as a lawyer, counsellor, or pastor.

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