11/21/2014 01:19 EST | Updated 11/21/2014 01:59 EST

Calgary 'Grandparent Scam' On The Rise


Calgary police have once again issued a warning about a type of telephone fraud nicknamed the "grandparent scam."

Police have fielded 86 reports of the scam so far this year.

Scam artists will contact potential victims, who are often elderly, and pose as a relative or loved one in trouble.

These con artists tell their victims they are desperately in need of cash, often using a fake accident or arrest while travelling to make their case.

"The caller goes on to say they are in some kind of trouble — such as being in a car accident, needing bail money or money to cover vehicle damages," police said in a release on Friday.

Often, a second caller will follow up, claiming to be a lawyer representing the person in trouble. They will explain how the transaction should be made — often through a money transfer service like Western Union, or by pre-paid credit cards.

"The caller specifically asks that their request be kept secret from other relatives, as they are embarrassed for calling, and do not want anyone else to know what has happened," police said.

More than $74,000 has been stolen in 45 cases between August and November alone. On victim lost $15,000.

Police say in many other cases the money transfers have been cancelled in time.


Photo gallery Ten Common Money Scams See Gallery

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