Beware of phone “Granny Scam”


Canadian phone scam targets eldery; making rounds again

There are scams of all types threatening to take money away from unsuspected and gullible individuals across the spectrum. From low-end scams on the streets of America – to billion dollar Ponzi schemes that devastate families and ruin life savings.

Hoboken411 reader Dharma1129 recently had a family member almost conned out of thousands – and wants to share with everyone possible his “granny scam” that has been making rounds since 2007:

“My dad just received a phone from someone who said they were from the Quebec, Canada police department and they had my son in custody.

They put someone pretending to be my son on the phone, who started crying to my dad and asking him to “send 2,800 for bail and to please not tell my mom.” My father was so nervous, he thought it really was my son. He called me and I told him my son was here with me. I called the number and they said they were a law office. When I told the man, I was the mother, why was he lying, he hung up on me. I called the Hoboken Police and Quebec Police Department they said this is a new scam, where people can look up your information, and relatives and then call and ask for money claiming the grandchildren need help. The number they called me from is 1-514-967-6271. Please warn everyone. They target older people the Police said.”

Granny Scam canadian phone scam alert

MSNBC’s Herb Weisbaum “ConsumerMan,” ran a story about this very scam a couple years ago:

“Telephone scammers in Canada love Americans. They also have found that some of us are incredibly easy to fool. If they can concoct a convincing story, they can get people to send them thousands of dollars.

“We’ve always known con artists will stop at nothing to rip off their victims,” says Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna. “This may be a low point – stealing from seniors by posing as a family member.”

With the “grandparent scam” the caller pretends to be a grandchild in trouble in Canada who needs money immediately. The caller often says he’s been arrested, was in a car accident or had some type of medical emergency.”

Read the rest of the article here.

Tips to pass on to your parents or grandparents:

  • Don’t fill in the blanks. If the caller says, “It’s your grandson,” respond with “Which one?” Most likely, the perpetrator will hang up.
  • Verify the caller. Always confirm your grandchild’s identity by saying you will return the call at his or her home or on his cell phone (but don’t ask the caller for it). If you don’t have your grandchildren’s phone numbers, contact a trusted family member for them.
  • Be mum on account numbers. Never provide your bank or credit-card account numbers to any caller, even someone claiming to be from your bank – regardless of the reason.
  • Be suspicious of requests for money wires.
  • Report it. If your “grandchild” calls requesting money, go to the Attorney General’s Web site at, or call the elder fraud hotline at the Division of Consumer affairs: 877-746-7850.

You may also like...

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Thursday, July 29, 2010 12:06 pm

And this is why my daughter has a pseudonym online. If she is mentioned on twitter or facebook it is by the online name I gave her. Why give people info.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010 10:18 pm

This exact thing happened to a friend of mine last year. Unfortunately his grandparents wound up losing a few thousand dollars. Pretty sad that these scumbags go after the elderly. The police said they couldn’t do anything about it. Really stinks.

Reply to  BklynHobo
Wednesday, July 28, 2010 11:42 pm

Sorry BklynHobo, They think of anything to scam people out of money. They were bold enough to put a guy on the phone and tell my father it was his grandson. The “imposter grandson” was crying so much, it confused my father and he thought it really was my son.[quote comment=”195176″]This exact thing happened to a friend of mine last year. Unfortunately his grandparents wound up losing a few thousand dollars. Pretty sad that these scumbags go after the elderly. The police said they couldn’t do anything about it. Really stinks.[/quote]

Wednesday, July 28, 2010 4:17 pm

A few weeks ago before I left my house for some drinks and dinner,I was watching that A&E program Intervention. The episode was about a man who had become addicted to painkillers due to an injury he suffered at work. He also was a gambler. He kept falling prey to various email scams. I don’t remember how much money the poor schlepp was swindled out of.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010 3:49 pm

Thank you Hoboken411 for posting my letter. I just can’t stand how people target our senior citizens. I contected the Hoboken Police, Quebec, Canada police and even they FBI; I was told there is nothing they can do because these guys have already gotten away with millions and they cant stop them. I find that hard to believe, if they really wanted to, at least the FBI could do something.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x