Montreal Man Charged for “Grandparent Scams” in Alberta

30 March 2015

After more than 100 recent complaints of elderly Alberta residents being targeted by phone scams, the Calgary police have finally managed to capture the alleged perpretrator of at least a large portion of the scams. Yann Giasson, a 28-year-old Montreal resident, was arrested in his hometown and faces 20 charges, including 10 counts of fraud more than $5,000 and ten counts of theft under $5,000.

According to police, Giasson duped his victims using a fraud technique called a “grandparent scam.” He would call elderly victims in Alberta, pretending to be a lawyer or insurance broker helping their grandchildren out in an emergency, and ask for money to cover their fees.

Police believe Giasson scammed more than $30,000 out of 10 elderly victims living throughout Alberta. They do not believe the currently identified victims were the only ones, and they are encouraging anyone else who may have been a victim of his scams to come forward, especially if they have any information about the case, such as phone numbers used to call victims.

Meanwhile, police are urging residents to take extra precautions to avoid getting caught by a grandparent scam. They have released a list of tips for avoiding these scams, including:

  • Don’t give out financial information or transfer money until you have verified that the caller’s story is legitimate. Call around to other relatives to see if they have heard of anything happening to the family member in question.
  • Ask for a call-back number to get in touch later. This often intimidates scammers because they don’t want to give out any identifying details.
  • If you suspect a scam, report it to police immediately.

If you’re worried about incurring damage to your credit score from scams and credit card fraud, consider subscribing to a credit monitoring service that can help alert you to certain activities on your account.