Arrests made in Laval, Montreal over ‘grandparent’ fraud scheme

Laval is one of several cities where investigators have made multiple arrests following an anti-fraud investigation in Quebec, Ontario and the U.S. involving “grandparent” schemes in which $2.2 million was allegedly bilked from mostly elderly victims over a period of more than two years.

Fourteen suspects, 24 to 34 years old, were arrested in Laval and Montreal, having recently moved from Toronto, according to the Sûreté du Québec which worked in conjunction with the Ontario Provincial Police on the investigation.

The police allege that this year alone, the group behind the operations defrauded 126 people across Canada of about $739,000, and that 15 of those victims lost money several times, for a total of $243,000.

Most of the victims, between the ages of 46 and 95, lived in Ontario and were reached on their home telephones by suspects pretending to be law enforcement officers telling them that a grandchild was in police custody.

The caller would request bail money to release the grandchild.

The OPP maintains that secondary accomplices, described as “money mules,” were enlisted by the masterminds of the scheme to go and pick up the money from the victims.