A vast police operation headed by the Sûreté du Québec targeting a cross-border grandparent scam took place Wednesday across the greater Montreal region.
More than 50 officers from various forces, including the SPVM and the Laval and Richelieu—St-Laurent, forces, took part.
According to the Sûreté du Québec, 13 people are to be arrested by day’s end in Montreal, Laval, Saint-Laurent, Kirkland and Chambly.
Provincial police said the criminal organization specialized in “grandparent”-type fraud and mainly targeted victims located in the United States.
The Baltimore office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is also involved in the investigation, as well as several other American police forces and surveillance agencies.
“Grandparent” scams often target older adults, with fraudsters claiming to be family members in need of assistance.
Canadians are facing a ‘financial storm,’ and experts say it’s time to plan ahead
Manitoba election results: Live numbers from the 2023 vote
The scam usually has suspects posing as a grandchild, an attorney or a law enforcement official. They often create false scenarios, such as arrests or medical emergencies, asking for large sums of money in cash to be handed over to help bail out the fake family member.
There has been a “significant increase” in the phenomenon in the country, according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.