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Arrest made while fraudster was getting ready to collect $12,000 in a scam

By Staff

May 26th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Early in April , the Halton Regional Police Service responded to an emergency scam in progress at an address in Milton.

This type of fraud, often referred to as the “grandparent scam”, has been an ongoing trend across Halton Region resulting in dozens of community members being victimized.

Sergo Laine

The suspect was expected to show up to collect $12,000 cash fromthe  victim for the alleged and fabricated bail of her nephew, a theme often used by fraudsters throughout the GTA.

The suspect did show up and was placed under arrest by investigators and charged with Fraud Over $5000.

This same suspect was investigated further following this initial arrest, as it was believed that he was committing further fraudulent offences.

On May 19, 2022, investigators executed search warrants at a hotel in Mississauga and a Toronto storage facility. This same suspect was once again placed under arrest, and charged with 7 additional Criminal Code and Controlled Drug and Substance Act charges.

Sergo Laine (32 years) of Montreal is charged with:

• Fraud Over $5000
• Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Over $5000
• Possession of a Controlled Substance (3 counts)
• Possession of Identity Documents
• Possession of Counterfeit Mark

Laine was released on an Undertaking.

Police believe there may be other victims.

Investigators are asking anyone who has information or has been victimized by Laine to contact the Regional Fraud Unit – Intake Office at 905-825-4777 ext. 8741.

Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers. “See something? Hear something? Know something? Contact Crime Stoppers” at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca

Emergency scams
These types of scams typically involve the victim receiving an unsolicited phone call regarding a loved one being in distress. The perpetrators falsely identify themselves as a loved one, or impersonate a police officer and/or other participants of the criminal justice system (such a lawyers, bailiffs, and “bondsman”), falsely claiming that the loved one is in police custody as a result of a specific incident.

They request a larger sum of money to have the supposed loved one released from custody, or to pay for associated bills/fines accrued as a result of the alleged incident. The funds requested can be in the form of a direct cash payment, bank transfers, various gift cards, and digital currency. While the scam is ongoing, and the payments are being made, the perpetrators will on occasion use the threat of a fictitious “gag order” to prevent the victim from discussing the matter with anyone else.

Tips to protect yourself
• Attempt to verify the caller’s identity – do not volunteer any information, and further ask very specific probing questions about the caller.
•Request to call back the initial caller – then independently find the number of the police service (or other purported agency in question) and call them directly to clarify the situation. If unsure, call your local police service and ask them for assistance.
• Attempt to directly call the loved one in question and clarify the matter with them.

Remember – Fraudsters will count on your good will to act quickly and help a loved one. Take your time and use above noted tips to protect yourself.

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3 comments to Arrest made while fraudster was getting ready to collect $12,000 in a scam

  • Alfred

    Hans.

    The soft on crime Justice of the peace you are referring to is Prime Minister Trudeau. Thats where it starts.

  • Penny Hersh

    My question ‘WHY WAS HE RELEASED ON AN UNDERTAKING”? This person has committed more than one offence. At the very least there should have been some bail required.

    Instead of keeping this man away from the public, the police have warned the public to be careful of scammers. This is like the tail wagging the dog.

    It will be interesting to see if this person actually shows up in court.

    • Hans Jacobs

      I thought the same thing. Protection of the public is apparently not being considered. It would be useful to provide the public with the name of the justice(s) of the peace that released this criminal, allowing him to continue to prey on unsuspecting victims. Where is the accountability?
      “Catch and release” must be very frustrating for the police, who work diligently to enforce the law.