I got a message that my grandchild is in hospital and needs money. Do I respond?

Be careful when you receive phone calls from someone you that you don't know or you're not sure about. Always be suspicious of any calls that ask for your address, Social Insurance Number, money, bank account, or card numbers.

Before you decide to return the phone call or send any money, you should call your grandchild's parents to check whether they are really are sick and in the hospital.

If you return the telephone call, you should ask questions to prove that the person really is your relative. You can ask:

  • What is your date of birth?
  • What are your parents' names?
  • Which hospital are you calling from?

If the person can't answer these questions, it's probably a .

If you decide to help the person, don't send the money through e-transfer. Instead, you should offer to pay the bills directly but only if they can provide account numbers or the names of who they need to pay, like the landlord, utilities, and credit card companies. If they refuse to give you this information and insist on an e-transfer, it's probably a scam.

If you learn that the caller is not your grandchild, you should report the incident to the local police. You should also report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre so they can warn the public of this COVID 19 scam.

If you used your credit card or an e-transfer to send money to the person, call your bank or the credit card company right away to tell them about the scam. The bank or credit card company might be able to reverse the charges.

Click here for more information about telephone and internet scams.

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