Here's how grandparent scams work, according to Ottawa police.
22-year-old Jason Goulet-Fernandez and 19-year-old Danielle Jimenez-Golez face charges for an alleged connection to a "grandparent scam" that squeezed more than $46,000 out of seniors, according to the Ottawa Police Service (OPS). The two Montrealers were charged with "fraud over $5,000," "possession of proceeds of crime," and "conspiracy to commit an indictable offence," the OPS said in a May 31 statement.
The service explained that, generally, perpetrators of "grandparent scams" pose as an elderly person's grandchild. They then contact the individual claiming to have been arrested and ask for bail money.
In some cases, scammers use crying to "make it difficult to understand what they are saying or to recognize the voice" over the phone "in order to get you to fill in the blanks as to who they are," OPS Sergeant Chantal Arsenault said in a January 21 warning to residents.
"The scam works because the vast majority of people are honest and willing to help, particularly if it involves a loved one."
The OPS did not release the details of any alleged plots that may have involved Goulet-Fernandez and Jimenez-Golez but claimed they're tied to five incidents.
In January, Ottawa police released tips to help residents who get grandparent scam calls avoid becoming a victim.
First, the OPS says to "never confirm any personal information over the phone."
Second: confirm the identity of the caller. Police suggest telling people calling from mysterious numbers claiming to be family members that you'll call them back at a known number.
Finally, the OPS says to resist pressure. "Take some time to process what you have been told, to see if it makes sense. Ask a trusted friend or family member for their opinion, or if in doubt, call your local police service."