PICTON, Ont. -- Ontario Provincial Police are warning the public of an "emergency" scam that cost a mother from Picton, Ont., $6,000.
Police say the woman recently received a frantic phone call from a man claiming to be her son. The man told her he was in jail after a serious motor vehicle collision.
Investigators say the call was then turned over to someone claiming to be a lawyer, who told the woman to deposit $6,000 into an account to facilitate her son's release.
After complying, police said the woman got in touch with her son, who told her he was not in trouble. The mother and son then contacted OPP to report what happened.
OPP spokeswoman Karen German said victims in such scams don't typically get their money back.
"The perpetrators prey on victims' emotional state," she said. "It causes distress for the person that's being called, and then they (feel they) have to take action right away."
Police said anyone receiving such calls should contact their family and check if anyone is actually in need of help. They warned the public not to forward funds without speaking to their relatives first.
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre said such scams can also be known as the "grandparent" scam since seniors are typically targeted.
The centre said there have been more than 100 complaints of emergency scams so far this year with more than $750,000 lost.