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Police Make Arrest in Grandparent Scam Fraud

The Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) has made an arrest related to a “grandparent scam” being operated in Burlington. The grandparent scam is a type of fraud that has been an ongoing trend across Halton resulting in many community members being victimized.

On May 25, 2023, HRPS officers were made aware of a scam in progress. Police attended the residence and arrested Jada Witter-Watts (22) of Etobicoke. She has been charged with Fraud Over $5000.


The suspect attended this location in order to collect $9,500 cash from a victim for the alleged and fabricated bail of his grandchild. This is a theme often used by fraudsters throughout the GTA. In this occurrence, the caller identified as an RCMP officer and advised the intended victim to withdraw money from his bank and not to tell his wife or bank the reason for the withdrawal.


Investigators are asking anyone who has information or may have also been victimized to contact the Regional Fraud Unit - Intake Office at 905-825-4777 ext. 8741.


Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers. "See something? Hear something? Know something? Contact Crime Stoppers" at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca


Emergency (Grandparent) Scams


These types of scams typically involve the victim receiving an unsolicited phone call regarding a loved one being in distress. The perpetrators falsely identify themselves as a loved one, or impersonate a police officer and/or other participants of the criminal justice system (such a lawyers, bailiffs, and “bondsman”), falsely claiming that the loved one is in police custody as a result of a specific incident. They request a larger sum of money to have the supposed loved one released from custody, or to pay for associated bills/fines accrued as a result of the alleged incident. The funds requested can be in the form of a direct cash payment, bank transfers, various gift cards, and digital currency. While the scam is ongoing, and the payments are being made, the perpetrators will on occasion use the threat of a fictitious “gag order” to prevent the victim from discussing the matter with anyone else.


Tips to protect yourself


• Attempt to verify the caller’s identity – do not volunteer any information, and further ask very specific probing questions about the caller.

•Request to call back the initial caller – then independently find the number of the police service (or other purported agency in question) and call them directly to clarify the situation. If unsure, call your local police service and ask them for assistance.

• Attempt to directly call the loved one in question and clarify the matter with them.

Remember - Fraudsters will count on your good will to act quickly and help a loved one. Take your time and use above noted tips to protect yourself.


Additional information on frauds and scams can be found here, or through the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website

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