Strathmore resident Barb Croteau was another person in a long list of people who has received a phone call in the Grandparent scam that has been circling around.  

People will get a call out of the blue from a stranger, usually posing as family or a person in authority claiming that a loved one is in some sort of trouble. Often a car accident or they have been arrested while on a holiday and they try to get your personal information.  

In this day and age where everyone uses a cellphone, that is where these types of calls are normally getting directed but in Croteau’s case, they called her landline. 

“The first thing I heard well, of course, it showed up as a blocked number and the first thing he said was hi, grandma and none of my grandchildren call me grandma.” 

Croteau said that her grandson has a cellphone, and it would have shown up on her caller ID because it is a registered number.  

“I just said ‘Yeah, yeah, sure, sure, you’re my grandson’ and then there was a click. I wished I'd been smarter and just strung them along.” 

They called Croteau quite early in the morning between 8:30 and 9:00. “It really ticked me off that I wasn’t prepared for that.”  

“I googled this information, and I dialed star 69 and right away it brings up this number that tells you the blocked number, but I didn't realize that my daughter had called in the meantime. So, what it did was it gave me the last number that called our number, and it was my daughter's phone.”  

Croteau said that her neighbour is 82 years old and that it's easier to get scammed when you are older. “I told her if she's getting calls left and right, and I think she's been scammed once, so I told her don't believe any of this stuff.” 

The biggest advice that Croteau has for people that receive a phone call like this is “If they say it's your grandson, hang up and then phone your grandson and see if it is him.” 

RCMP shared these tips to help residents to avoid being a potential victim as many have lost thousands:

  • Never send e-transfers to numbers, emails or people you do not recognize or verify to be true
  • Never provide passwords, PIN numbers, account numbers, over the phone, text or email
  • Never provide credit card numbers via text or email
  • Enroll in push notifications for mobile banking transactions
  • Protect your PIN and always create difficult-to-guess PIN numbers
  • Go paperless – sign up for online billing and financial statements to prevent criminals from stealing your identity or sensitive data from your mailbox
  • Collect your mail daily
  • Secure all your financial documents in a protected location
  • Protect yourself on social media – avoid tagging your location while on vacation as criminals will know you’re not home and do not accept friend requests from people you do not know
  • Never share your passwords and regularly change your passwords
  • Never open suspicious links in emails or texts
  • Report any fraud or suspicious activity to your bank, Canadian anti-fraud centre and your local police

RCMP encourage the public to report any criminal or suspicious activity in our community at 780-851-8000 or your local police. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at or by using the “P3 Tips” app available through the Apple App or Google Play Store.

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