Police arrest two people in connection with ‘grandparent scam’

FERGUS – Police have arrested two people in connection with a “grandparent scam” targeting a resident here.

Wellington County OPP officials say they received a call about “an active fraud” at a Fergus home on March 2 at about 1pm.

“It was reported that an unknown individual was in a home attempting to collect money that the potential victim believed to was to pay a bond/bail for their grandson,” police stated in a press release.

Police say officers took two people into custody and “investigation revealed that the potential victim’s grandson did not require a bond/bail.”

Efeson Tesfaalem Teklehaymanot, 20, and a 17-year-old, both residents of Guelph, have been charged with fraud over $5,000.

They are to appear in Guelph court at a later date.

In the typical emergency or grandparent scam, “the victim will receive a frantic phone call from someone claiming to be a grandchild or loved one who is in distress and in need of emergency support,” police say.

“And in short order, an authority is put on the phone, possibly a police officer, or lawyer or some person that holds the fate of your loved one in their hands.

“The demand for money is made and the wave of helplessness washes over the potential victim. Fear compelled with dizzying urgency leverages the would-be victim searching for any sort of relief.”

To avoid becoming a victim, police suggest first checking with another family member or trusted friend to verify the information prior to sending money.

All incidents of fraud or attempted fraud should be reported to police or Crime Stoppers.