Calgary police: Suspected ‘grandparent scammer’ arrested

Calgary police say a man was arrested and charged in connection with a “grandparent scam” Friday afternoon.

Police say an 81-year-old man received a call at around 9 a.m. on Sept. 9 from another man claiming to be the lawyer for his grandson.

They add the caller told the victim their grandson was in the U.S. and needed $12,000 in bail money. He was also told not to speak to anyone about the matter.

The victim was visited by a man half an hour later to collect the cash.

Officers say the victim then received another call from someone claiming to be the “lawyer’s supervisor,” saying they need an additional $10,000.


While at the bank, police say an employee told the elderly man to call his grandson to double-check that he was in need of help. The grandson reportedly said he was fine and not in need of financial aid.

It was then that the 81-year-old called police, who then decided to wait at the victim’s home for the alleged scammer.

CPS says a man who arrived at the home seemingly to collect the cash was then arrested.

Police have charged 21-year-old Nishaan Singh Sandhu with one count of fraud over $5,000. He was released on bail with conditions. Sandhu is set to appear in court on Oct. 14.

“These scammers are really good at what they do. They are convincing and they prey on seniors’ generosity, trustworthiness and desire to help their loved ones,” said Staff-Sgt. Kurt Jacobs.

“They are able to use personal information obtained from a number of methods to make their lies seem real. It takes all of us to protect our seniors and loved ones. Have conversations with your family members, watch out for seniors making strange transactions either at financial institutes or through gift cards and report any suspicious behaviour.”

Police want to remind people that bail payments can only be paid in person at the courthouse or correctional centres. Receipts are also issued.

Canadian currency, debit, and credit cards are accepted as payment. Gift cards, e-transfers, and cheques are not.

They also say that funds will never be transferred to other accounts.

Police note in most circumstances, the person needing bail will make the phone call themselves.

Anyone with information about similar incidents is asked to call police at 403-266-1234 or leave a tip anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

-With files from Pete Curtis

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