Swan River RCMP warn of Grandparent / Family Scams

RCMP Media Release |

“Grandma: I’m in the hospital, I’m scared, and I’m injured from a bad car accident, please wire money right away.”

“Grandpa: I’m in jail and need bail money, please send money right away”.


Grandparent scams can take new twists – always with a sense of urgency. Social engineering at it’s best, for the worst.

In grandparent scams, scammers pose as panicked grandchildren in trouble, calling or sending messages urging you to wire money immediately. They’ll say they need cash to help with an emergency – like needing money as they are stranded, have medical expenses to pay, or need bail money. This most certainly pulls at the heart strings, and comes at you with no time to prepare your mental defences. Scammer’s lies can be very compelling. In these times we need to save our money for many things, including real family emergencies.

To avoid grandparent scams or family emergency scams:
- Resist the urge to act immediately – no matter how dramatic the story is.
- Verify the caller’s identity. Ask questions that a stranger couldn’t possibly answer. Call a phone number for your family member or friend that you know to be genuine. Check the story out with someone else in your family or circle of friends, even if you’ve been told to keep it a secret.
- Don’t send cash, gift cards, or money transfers – once the scammer gets the money, it’s gone