Westlock RCMP have received several reports of attempted grandparent scams in the community and surrounding areas. The victims received a call from a suspect claiming to be a loved one, who’s voice was most likely spoofed by AI, stating they were arrested by RCMP and needed help and money. A suspect then claimed to be a lawyer and asked for bail money. In some cases, they told the victims to withdraw money and deposit it to a crypto-wallet through a bitcoin ATM. In others, they stated someone would come to their residence to collect the funds. These frauds have been noted in Westlock, Clyde, Alta. and Morrinville, Alta., though they have been reported all over Alberta.

Typically suspects in grandparent scams will pretend to be lawyers, police officers, judges, or family members. Suspects will usually ask for cash, gift cards or Bitcoin.

Westlock RCMP wants to remind the public:

  • Bail is always paid in person at a courthouse or correctional centre;
  • Never send money to anyone you don’t know;
  • If a person claims to be a police officer or judge, call that police service or court house directly to confirm the situation – police and courts will never ask for any form of payment;
  • Never give out personal information over the phone or online to someone you don’t know—the police or courts will not ask for personal information over the phone.

Anyone who has been a victim of these crimes, or anyone with information, is encouraged to call the Westlock RCMP at 780-349-4491 or your local police. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at www. P3Tips.com or by using the “P3 Tips” app available through the Apple App or Google Play Store. To report crime online, or for access to RCMP news and information, download the Alberta RCMP app through Apple or Google Play.

Information provided by Westlock RCMP