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Seniors warned of 'emergency loan' scam

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Elderly Winnipeggers should beware of "grandchildren" calling to beg for an emergency loan, warn police.

Winnipeg police are again asking seniors, grandparents and those who care for them to be wary of a scam that has conned as many as four Winnipeg grandparents out of thousands of dollars in the last several months.

Scammers pretending to be a grandchild in jail or in trouble have been phoning grandparents asking them to wire emergency money. The scam was in the news earlier this year, but police say an 89-year-old woman was conned out of $4,500 again Thursday evening.

A caller from Montreal pretending to be her grandson phoned begging for money to pay the insurance on a rental car he’d crashed. The second time the grandmother wired money, the money transfer company became suspicious and suspended the transfer, which allowed some of the woman’s cash to be retrieved.

Winnipeg Police spokesman Const. Jason Michalyshen said the commercial crimes unit is considering launching an education campaign to help money transfer firms be alert to potential scams.

Officers are also investigating the scam in co-operation with other law enforcement agencies.

Michalyshen said grandchildren and children and caregivers should alert any elderly people they know to the scam.
 

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