Grandmother in Canada catches phone scammers in the act


Phone scammers in Canada took on the wrong person when they solicited money from a woman in Windsor, Ontario – who then plotted with local police to catch her.

The woman who received a lazy phone call from a man posing as her grandson on Wednesday was set up as one of them the “grandparent scams” ​​targeting seniors in Canada and elsewhere. The caller claimed he was arrested after an accident, cried and said he loved her, she told reporters at a news conference.

He said he urgently needed $9,300 Canadian or $6,800 bail.

The woman, identified by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as a grandmother named Bonnie Bednarik, called the man by a name that was not her grandson’s name. She then formed her own undercover operation. Bednarik pretended she had to call the bank and get a car from her husband, she told reporters. In the meantime, she coordinated with the police to set up surveillance around her home.

When two suspects showed up to demand the money, they were intercepted by officers, according to a police report Thursday. Police also seized two packages of money from two previous scams, including one in a town about 30 minutes away.

Police arrested two suspects, a 19-year-old man from Windsor and a 22-year-old man from Tecumseh, Ontario. Each has been charged with two counts of fraud totaling over $5,000.

Grandparent scams target the elderly and usually involve the scammer pretending to be a relative in need of money.

The non-stop fraud economy is costing us more than just money

In 2022, more than $9.2 million Canadian was lost to “emergency fraud,” which includes grandparent fraud, the Canadian government said in a February statement. This has almost quadrupled from the CA$2.4 million in losses reported in 2021.

Last summer, seniors in Winnipeg, Manitoba, were robbed of $100,000 in less than six days by grandparent scammers.

“Although arrests have been made in this case, the Windsor Police Service continues to advise members of the community to be vigilant when receiving calls from anyone claiming to be a relative,” the department said in a statement.

“Cheaters take advantage of our feelings and caring nature,” Dominic Chong, a detective superintendent with the Ontario Provincial Police, said in February of the rise in fraud crimes. “Scammers are taking advantage of our fears and cheating our seniors in this province out of thousands of dollars every day.”

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