Grande Prairie RCMP has recently seen an increase in complaints from the public of a fraudulent scam referred to as Emergency Scams, or “Grand Parent” scams.

This scam typically targets seniors and often involve a phone call being placed to the victim claiming a loved one is in trouble with the courts or law enforcement and a payment is needed to help them. The suspects will often pretend to be a police officer, judge, or family member. Suspects will usually ask for cash; however, they may also ask for payment in gift cards, bitcoin, or e-transfers. The scammers will then send an associate acting as a courier to pick up the money in person or ask the money be mailed.

“On Mar. 2, we received over six reports of attempted grandparent scams, and there are likely more that haven’t been reported to police,” says Sgt. Shawn Graham of the Grande Prairie RCMP. “In these recent incidents the suspect was pretending to be a lawyer or a grandchild stating they needed bail money.”


Grande Prairie RCMP remind the public of the following tips to recognize scams and avoid becoming a victim:


·       Scammers use high-pressure tactics like creating a sense of urgency or secrecy to cloud your judgement. Don’t be afraid to say no.

·       If a person claims to be a police officer or judge or lawyer, call that police service or court house directly to confirm the situation – police and courts will never demand cash be picked up in person or mailed.

·       If you receive a call from someone claiming to be a family member or grandchild in need of bail money confirm who they are. Seek assistance from someone you trust.

·       Don’t keep the situation a secret. Scammers will pressure you to lie to your bank, the police or family about what is happening. Talk to family, friends, or loved ones and reach out for help.

·       Never give out personal information. Beware of calls where you are asked to

provide your name, address, birthdate, Social Insurance Number, credit card or banking information, and other personal family details.


For more information on scams contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online at or toll free at 1-888-495-8501. If you believe you may be the victim of fraud or have given personal or financial information unwittingly, contact your local police detachment.