The Hawkesbury Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is warning people of a scam, where criminals use couriers to collect money in a grandparent fraud scheme.

Criminal actors target elderly citizens in a fraud scheme, in which they arrange for couriers to pick up bail money in person at the victim’s residence. Criminals contact their victims by telephone and pose as a grandchild, or another family member in distress, who has been arrested and needs bail money. They may also pose as a representative of the detained relative, such as an attorney or a bail-bondsman.

Criminal actors then send couriers to collect the money in person from the victim’s residence. In some instances, ride-share drivers (such as Uber) are used to pick up the money.

According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center (CAFC), confidence-fraud schemes accounted for the highest losses reported by the elderly in 2020.

Tips on how to protect yourself:

• Be careful what you post online. Scammers can use details shared on social media platforms and dating sites for targeting purposes.

• Be suspicious of telephone calls that require you to immediately take action and request bail money for a family member in distress. Contact the family member directly for confirmation.

• Be careful with caller IDs that look familiar. Scammers may use technology to disguise the actual number they are calling from (‘spoof’) and make it appear as a trusted number.

• Never give personal identifiable information or money to anyone you have only communicated with by telephone or online.

Any person with information regarding any criminal activity should immediately contact the Ontario Provincial Police at 1-888-310-1122. Should you wish to remain anonymous you may also call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222- 8477, where you may be eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $2,000. All tips are anonymous and you will not have to attend court. Visit for more information.

The Hawkesbury OPP encourages anyone who feels they may be the target of a scam, or if you know of someone who has, to contact your local police and/or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501. Fraud: Recognize. Report. Reject.