Police Make Arrest in Grandparent Scam that took place in Burlington

By Staff

October 18th, 2022



It took a little longer than we expected – but there was no doubt that at some point a person who was being pulled into one of those Emergency Grandparent Scams that the Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) would be involved and able to make an arrest.

Often people are embarrassed by being taken advantage of – they don’t call the police – they don’t want anyone to know.

This week an arrest related to a “grandparent ” or “emergency” style scam being operated in Burlington. This scam is a type of fraud that has been an ongoing trend across Halton resulting in many community members being victimized.

On October 17, 2022, HRPS officers were made aware of a scam in progress. Police attended the residence and arrested Kevin Murenzi (24) of Gatineau, QC.

The suspect attended this location in order to collect $9,000 cash from a victim for the alleged and fabricated bail of her child. This is a theme often used by fraudsters throughout the GTA.

The suspect was placed under arrest by investigators and charged with Fraud Over $5000 and Obstruct Peace Officer.

Investigators are asking anyone who has information or may have also been victimized 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 (Grandparent) 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.

Additional information on frauds and scams can be found here, or through the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website.

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