Portage la Prairie woman loses $7,200 in grandparent scam

An 87-year-old woman in Portage la Prairie lost more than $7,200 in an apparent scam after she got a call for help from a man she thought was her grandson.

Manitoba RCMP is investigating the scam.

Mounties say the woman got a phone call on the evening of April 28. The voice on the other end of the line claimed to be her grandson. He told her he was in police custody as he had been in a crash and had hit a pregnant woman.

The man speaking to the woman then told her to call his lawyer and gave her a phone number.

When the woman phoned the number, another man answered pretending to be the lawyer. The woman was told to get cash from the bank and someone would come to the home to pick it up. She was told to not tell anyone about this as it was a confidential matter.

The RCMP said the woman went to the bank to withdraw the money. When she returned home, a man came to pick up the cash and then left.

“The victim became concerned when she had not received a call from either the lawyer or her grandson and attempted to call the number she was given, but nobody answered,” The RCMP said in a news release. “She then called family members and determined her grandson was at work and had not been in any contact with the police.”

The RCMP is reminding people that bail is not paid in cash in Canada. The RCMP says if you get any request for help for a family member, be sure to call them back on a familiar number, or call an independent family member at a known number to confirm the information.

The RCMP said the suspect that showed up to get the cash was a man in his mid 20s with curly black hair. He was wearing a black long-sleeve vest-type jacket and dark pants.

Anyone with information is asked to call RCMP at 204-857-4445.

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