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Longueuil police release images of suspects wanted in grandparents scams

Police in Longueuil are trying to stop a group they believe are defrauding seniors.

The seniors have been targeted by a variety of phone techniques, including what is commonly known as the grandparents scam.

The police’s fraud investigation unit released seven pictures of suspects believed to be involved in the deceptive scheme.

The scam generally involves a person calling a senior, and claiming their grandchild, for example, is in legal trouble, either in Canada or abroad, and needs to be bailed out at the police station.

Police say the pitch can be so convincing that many have fallen into the trap over the years. In this case, the Longueuil police claim that a second person, pretending to be a lawyer, urges the target to withdraw thousands of dollars at a bank machine.

A group of accomplices then meet the victim, with a promise to give it to the fake lawyer, who will have the grandchild released.

The supposed grandchild, or other relative, is normally not involved or aware of what’s going on. The con artists will often go through the victim’s public profiles on social media to gather as much personal information as possible about their family.

The scam is difficult to trace, as many victims are too embarrassed to admit they were defrauded. But in this case, police were able to trace some of the suspects involved using video footage near ATMs.

A variant of the scam involves the same callers pretending to be from police service or the bank, claiming their victim’s bank account was compromised and demanding all sorts of private information.

It usually ends with the victim being asked to make a withdrawal at an ATM, where the police impersonator will demand the person hand over the money as evidence of a crime.

Police are reminding residents to be careful: if they get a call regarding a relative in distress demanding money, it’s best to call other family members to see if it’s true.

In the case of attempted bank fraud, financial institutions warn their customers that their staff would never demand passwords through email, text messages, or phone calls.

Anyone who recognizes the suspects in the photos is asked to call 911. Top Stories

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