On February 8, 2022, 2 District Niagara Falls uniform officers attended a north end Niagara Falls home for a fraud call for service.
Officers attended the scene and met with the 76-year-old female victim. The initial investigation determined that on Wednesday February 2, 2022, at approximately 11:00 AM she received a call (NO call display) from a male who said, “Hi Grandma”. The unknown caller sounded like her family.
The male claiming to be the victim’s Grandson stated that he was in his friend’s car (with his friend) and had been stopped by the police. An alleged search of the vehicle resulted in a substantial drug seizure and the arrest of the vehicle’s occupants. The male on the phone, stated that he needed $12000 in cash, to be released from jail. The victim was advised that an “Officer Henderson” would arrange a courier to pick up the money at victim’s residence the city of Niagara Falls. The victim was instructed to call the scammer when the money had been acquired.
On Wednesday February 2, 2022, at 12:00 PM the victim attended a local bank and withdrew $11,000 (which is all of the money that she had).
At approximately 1:00 PM the victim called the phone number she had been provided to notify them of the withdrawal. 30 minutes later an unknown male attended the victim’s residence and collected the money ($11,000) without incident. The victim advised police that she was busy attending to her ailing husband and did not pay much attention to the description of the male that picked up the money.
The suspect who came to the victim’s home is described as:
White male 25-30 years old Approximately 5’10”, with a thin build Wearing a white long jacket
The investigation has been assigned to detectives from the NRPS Central Fraud Unit. Detectives are also investigating 11 other similar incidents that have occurred in Niagara since February 2, 2022. To date victims have had more than $70,000 stolen. An additional $24,000 involved attempts where the victims realized it was a scam and didn’t send money.
Anyone who may have information about this incident is asked to contact detectives at 905-688-4111, option 3, 1009076.
Members of the public who wish to provide information anonymously can contact Crime Stoppers of Niagara online or by calling 1-800-222-8477. Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards to persons who contact the program with information which leads to an arrest.
Click Here For Crime Stoppers Online
In an effort to protect the vulnerable victims from scams we would like to ask the public to take a “NRP me plus three” approach to scams. Seek out information from an official source, educate yourself and then educate three persons in your life who may be vulnerable to becoming victims of scam crime. #NRPMePlus3
Information about scams can be found on the NRPS website or at the Canadian Anti Fraud Website.
NRPS Scam Protection Information Canadian Anti Fraud Centre
We would also like to appeal to corporate Canada to develop protocols at the point of sale that protect vulnerable persons who may be caught in a scam. E.g. When seeing a vulnerable person purchasing thousands of dollars in gift cards, intervene.
Never confirm any personal information over the phone. Always verify who is calling. Don’t be pressured. Stop. Take some time to process what you have been told, to see if it makes sense. Ask a trusted friend or family member for their opinion. If you’re in doubt, call your local police service.