SASKATOON – The Saskatoon Police Service Economic Crime Section is alerting the public to a series of fraudulent activity and are requesting assistance in identifying and/or locating a person of interest.
In recent days, investigators with the Economic Crime Section have received reports to suggest that fraudsters have returned to target victims in Saskatoon through the Family/Grandparent Emergency Scam. In each report of victimization, fraudsters attended to the victim’s residence and defrauded them of several thousand dollars. Members of the public are cautioned that the fraudsters are falsely identifying themselves as police officers both over the phone and in person.
As a result of investigation, police are looking to identify and locate a person of interest believed to have information to offer investigators. She is described as a dark-haired female in her late 20s or early 30s with a medium build and a height between 5-foot-3 and 5-foot-8. She has been observed on separate occasions wearing dark clothing, a hat, and sunglasses.
If you have received a suspicious call and suspect fraud but have not been victimized, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. If you have become the victim of fraud or have information regarding the identity and/or whereabouts of the person of interest, contact your local police or report it to the Saskatoon Police Service by calling 306-975-8300; in an emergency, call 9-1-1 immediately.
About the Family/Grandparent Emergency Scam
The Family/Grandparent Emergency Scam involves a potential victim, often an older adult, receiving a phone call from someone claiming to be a family member in an emergency and requiring money for various purposes. The fraudsters may also work in tandem and connect the victim to another person claiming to be a police officer, lawyer, doctor, or representative of another profession. The payment is often requested as cash, gift cards, or cryptocurrency. This is a scam. Any legitimate authority would never make such requests.
If you receive a suspicious phone call, ask important questions of the caller to verify their identity but refrain from offering additional details yourself. Alternatively, hang up and call that family member directly to verify their location and well-being and/or connect with other relatives to fact check the call. If the caller is claiming to be law enforcement or a representative of another profession, hang up and call that authority directly to verify the information. Fraudsters leverage urgency and panic to coerce the victim into complying with their request. Always use extreme caution, especially when being asked to send a form of currency.
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