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Durham police make multiple arrests after grandparent scams plague the region

DAN CEARNS, The Standard

DURHAM/KAWARTHA LAKES: The Durham Regional Police Service (DRPS) made multiple arrests in regard to a grandparents scam, which was spreading around Durham and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

On Wednesday, December 7th, the DRPS announced they had arrested and charged four suspects, “for targeting seniors in Durham Region and across the GTA in grandparent scams, resulting in more than $37,000 in losses.”

“In each case, the senior victim received a phone call from a person alleging their grandchild was involved in a police investigation, oftentimes an accident. The suspect would tell the victim their grandchild would be held in jail unless cash was provided for their release. The suspect would arrange for a “bondsman” or courier to attend the home and pick up the money,” the DRPS press release added.

22-year-old Dominique Alexander-Connell of Brampton, 20-year-old Kamar Minto of Hamilton, 23-year-old David Maah of Quebec and 27-year-old Fuad Jama, who has no fixed address, all face charges of: participating in a criminal organization, fraud over $5,000, and possession of proceeds obtained by crime over $5,000. David Maah faces an additional charge of possessing a forged passport.

“Investigators were able to identify three victims and believe there may be others who have not reported it to police,” the press release added.

Earlier this month, the Kawartha Lakes Police Service (KLPS) was made aware of a victim of a grandparent scam.

“On Friday, December 2nd, 2022, a victim attended the Kawartha Lakes Police Service to report she had received a call from her daughter, [about her] being in jail and [requiring] money to be released. The victim was provided with an account number and deposited $5,000, before attending the Ontario Court of Justice in Lindsay [and] learning it was a scam,” KLPS stated in a press release.

The KLPS also has some advice for people who receive these types of calls, such as: not providing any personal information; not handing any money over; and remembering, “police will never go to your door to ask for money, nor would they ask money to be given to a courier.” Remain calm during the call and check the facts with family members.

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