Manitoulin Island senior warns of local scam

MANITOULIN – A Manitoulin Island senior was lucky to recognize someone was trying to scam her out of money when she received a call on Thursday of last week from a man claiming to be from Las Vegas and telling her that she had won $1.5 million.

“I was called by a man who said he was David Clark last night,” the local woman, who wished to remain anonymous, told The Expositor. “He said he was from Las Vegas and that I had won $1.5 million in a draw. So, I told him I didn’t have any tickets for a draw.”  But she explained he had her name and number and reiterated that she had won a draw.

“I asked him if he could send me the money through the mail and he said he would, if I could send him $500,” said the Manitoulin Island woman. “I said, ‘I think this is a scam.’ The woman did not send the man any money, noting that the man hadn’t even asked for her address to send any money.

“I figured I would call you at the paper and let people know of this scam,” the woman told The Expositor. “It might save some people from being scammed and sending money.”

This is not the only scam that is currently going around. The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) released a warning about a phone scam in the region that has been targeting elderly females in rural areas. The OPP released a warning last week detailing three elaborate and organized scams that occurred the past week throughout Ontario.

Police explain elderly women are called by a male who claims to be an officer and has been reporting that their grandson has been arrested. In all instances, bail money has been requested for the grandson whom the scammer claims has been arrested with drugs in the vehicle while on their way to get a COVID-19 test.

Police indicate that sometimes the scammers have gotten people to impersonate the grandson and  to talk to their grandmother in a congested voice.

The scammers then get delivery services to pick up the money and in many cases will inform their targets to tell the bank from which they have taken the money that the money is to be used for renovations on their house.

The statement goes on to say that police will never demand money to have someone arrested, released from custody, for payment of a fine or involve a courier company to transfer payments.

The OPP reports an 84-year-old female was contacted by a male claiming to be Corporal Matheson of (a police service). He stated that her grandson had been arrested after a minor vehicle collision with his friend where drugs were located in the vehicle. In order for him to be released, she had to provide $10,000 in cash. The female spoke to her grandson who told her he was sick and was on his way for a COVID test when the accident occurred, explaining why he was stuffed up. The female provided the money which was picked up by a courier. The officer called back the following day and informed her the charges were dropped, but she would have to pay $12,000 for his fine. She did as instructed and a courier picked up the money.

In a second incident, the OPP reported a 73-year-old female was contacted by a male alleging to be her grandson and that he was arrested after being pulled over in a vehicle that was driven by his friend, and drugs were located.

The female requested to speak to the officer and a male identified himself as ‘Constable Johnston.’ She was directed to withdraw $6,000 for bail, which she did, and the money was picked up by a courier.  

The following day the ‘officer’ told her an additional $9,000 would be required for the charges being dropped. The victim again obliged, reported the OPP. 

In the third incident reported by the OPP an 83-year-old female was contacted by a male who identified himself as ‘Corporal Matheson,’ notifying her that her grandson was in  custody as a result of a vehicle stop where drugs were located.

She reported that her grandson got on the phone and it sounded like him but that he was sick. He claimed he was on his way for a COVID test when the vehicle stop occurred. 

The woman was directed to withdraw $8,000 and leave it under her doormat and a courier would pick it up. 

The ‘officer’ called for better directions to her house, at which time she said she was phoning her grandad. The male hung up the phone. The money was not picked up, reported the OPP.