RCMP will be investigating further after a 32-year-old man was arrested in stonewall at the end of February for attempting to scam an elderly woman out of more than $16,000.

The 79-year-old woman went to the local detachment to report that she believed she was a victim of the grandparent scam. According to RCMP, she had received a call a few days earlier from someone claiming to be her grandson. He said he was in a motor vehicle collision in Winnipeg and was arrested and needed money for bail. She was instructed to take out $8,000 in cash from her financial institution and that it would be picked up at her home. She then received a phone call from someone claiming to be her grandson’s lawyer who advised her the money would be picked up by courier and instructed her not to tell anyone. A man then came by the home and picked up the money.

The following day, the victim received more phone calls from the same suspect advising her an additional $8,000 would be required to pay fines and exonerate her grandson. The same pick-up process took place. More calls were received a couple days later asking for another large sum of money. When the woman finally went to her financial institution, the employee advised her of the possible scam.

A suspect was scheduled to come by her come by her home later that day, but RCMP intercepted him, and he was arrested without incident. He was also wanted out of Alberta on a warrant for fraud.

The accused has been charged with Fraud over $5,000 and was remanded into custody.

A spokesperson for Manitoba RCMP says we can be assured that authorities will be looking at similar incidents here in Manitoba to see if there is evidence to suggest the man is responsible for other scams that have taken place. According to RCMP, since January 1, there have been approximately 13 similar occurrences in Southern Manitoba with an estimated total loss of approximately $70,000. 

“Too many people are losing large sums of money to this scam, and we want Manitobans to be aware,” said Corporal Julie Courchaine of the Manitoba RCMP. “Please bring up this topic with friends and family as education and awareness will help protect others from being defrauded.”
Police believe there may be more victims of this scam and are asking the public to report any similar frauds to local police as soon as possible.