St. Thomas man loses $10,000 in 'grandparent scam'

The crest of the St. Thomas Police Service. (Source: St. Thomas Police Service/Facebook)

Police are reminding the public to be vigilant after a St. Thomas man lost $10,000 in after falling victim to something known as the “grandparent scam.”

According to a press release issued Tuesday by the St. Thomas Police Service, a man from St. Thomas received a call from a scammer posing as an RCMP officer. The scammer told the victim his grandson was being held by RCMP but that if he paid $10,000, the grandson would avoid a criminal record.

On June 27 at approximately 4:30 p.m., police said the victim paid an unknown woman $10,000 in cash, and that the transaction took place in the Barwick Street and Hill Street area.

The scam works by a scammer pretending to be the victim’s grandchild, law enforcement, or a lawyer representing the victim’s grandchild.

Scammers then claim they or something they love is in police custody and are facing criminal charges, and then ask the victim to transfer them money for legal purposes.

St. Thomas police remind the public to be vigilant and to warn loved ones who might be vulnerable. 

They recommend being suspicious of urgent requests for money, verifying the story first by contacting other family members, and never sending funds in uncertain conditions.

Other local police have been warning the public about grandparent scams due to a recent uptick in reports, including the London Police Service, the Sarnia Police Service and Lambton County OPP.

Police ask anyone with information regarding this particular incident to call the St. Thomas Police Service at (519) 631-1224 and to refer to incident ST22009849.