East Algoma OPP – Watch for Fraud or Scams

Since January 1, 2024, the East Algoma Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) has responded to 13 fraud/scam related occurrences where victims have lost over $19000.

The frauds/scams that are targeting the public in the area are: bitcoin, cryptocurrency, business, financial scams and just recently one Emergency (Grandparent) scam.

On January 23, 2024, shortly after 10:00 a.m., the complainant (grandparent) received a phone call from a person who identified themselves as a police officer, gave a name, badge number and phone number.

The so-called officer advised that the complaint’s grandson had been involved in a car accident and was going to be held in jail over night. If $10,000 was paid the grandson would be released. When asked to speak to the grandson and the grandparent accidentally blurted out the grandson’s name. The officer said the named grandson had contracted COVID, his voice had changed and hadn’t returned to normal.

After speaking to the phony grandson, another scammer came on the phone and set up a location to drop off the money at local courier service in the Town of Garson. The scammer instructed the grandparent to put $10,000 in courier bag and place a magazine with cardboard and other papers amongst the cash. The complainant was also advised not to contact anybody and if they did, they could be in trouble for divulging this information.

Later, on this afternoon, while travelling to the Town of Garson from Blind River, the grandparent became suspicious and stopped at the Espanola OPP Detachment on Highway 17 and spoke to an officer who advised the grandparent that this was a scam.

Warning Signs – How to protect yourself


  • If you receive a suspicious phone call claiming to be from a family member in an emergency situation, hang up the phone and contact them directly on the number you have in your contact list
  • If the caller claims to be a law enforcement official and asked you to pay a fine or bail, hang up and call your police directly
  • Listen to that inner voice that is screaming at you: “This doesn’t sound right”.
  • Be careful what you post online. Scammers can use details shared on social media platforms and dating sites for targeting purposes. Suspects can easily gather names and details about your loved ones
  • Be suspicious of telephone calls that require you to immediately take action and request bail money for a family member in distress
  • Be careful with caller ID numbers that look familiar. Scammers use technology to disguise the actual number they are calling from (spoof) and make it appear as a trusted phone number
  • If you receive an email or text message claiming to be from a friend or loved one asking for money, make the outgoing call to the person by looking up the legitimate phone number you have for them in your contact list.
  • Use unique and strong passwords for all social media and email accounts.


Remember, any legitimate agency will NEVER request a payment by wire transfer, online currency such as bitcoin, pre-paid credit cards or pre-paid gift cards such as Google Play, iTunes, Vanilla, etc. Scammers will ask to purchase large denomination gift cards as form of payment. Also, they will ask to send cash, but hidden inside pages of a book, then box the book and wrap it in an excessive amount of packing tape.


Awareness is key when it comes to recognizing frauds and scams. There are so many types out there but the better educated you are, the less chance you, have to fall victim to these ruthless scammers.


Don’t keep it a secret – talk to a friend, family member, neighbour, or police before making any decisions to send money to people you don’t know.

If you think you’re a victim of fraud, report it to the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or your local police service.

The Canadian Anti Fraud Centre collects information on frauds and identity theft. They provide information on past and current scams affecting Canadians. For more information call 1-888-495- 8501 or visit online at: www.antifraudcentre.ca