Calgary police say more than $1.6 million has been stolen this year from approximately 122 seniors in the city by fraudsters using what’s known as the grandparent scam.
The police said in a statement that there has been a sharp increase in cases this month, with 93 reports of 35 victims losing money to the scams.
Three people were arrested and charged in the past few weeks but have since been released on bail.
Police say victims are usually contacted by phone by someone impersonating a relative, police officer, lawyer or bail bondsman, saying a loved one needs financial help in the form of bail money or legal fees.
They believe the scammers are able to collect detailed information about victims that lends credibility to their stories, but investigators have not confirmed how the information is being accessed.
Police say one victim was defrauded of nearly $300,000 in August.