The Hamilton Police Service announced the arrest of two individuals from Laval, Que. Thursday morning, after the pair allegedly exploited a 94-year-old Hamilton man with the “Grandparent Scam.”
On Nov. 1, the victim received phone calls from a male impersonating an RCMP officer and was told that his grandson was arrested for having a large quantity of drugs in his vehicle and was in police custody.
The scammer demanded that the 94-year-old man pay $120,000 to release his grandson.
Another male, posing as the victim’s grandson, reportedly came on the phone franticly pleading with the victim to pay the bond so that he could be released from police custody.
The 94-year-old man told police that he sent the scammers all his money; however, the victim’s financial institution intervened and minimized the damage.
“Worried about his grandson, the victim agreed to pay a portion of the demanded bond money, as it was all he had at the time,” according to police.
“The monetary losses sustained were minimized by the financial institution that stepped in when the victim attempted to obtain money from their account.”
The scammers weren’t finished.
Later that same day, a female playing the role of a court courier attended the 94-year-old’s residence and collected the money. The victim was advised there was a court-imposed gag order, and he was not permitted to notify anyone of what happened, or his grandson would remain in prison.
The following day, the victim received more phone calls from the suspects demanding the remainder of the bond money. They directed the 94-year-old man to place the money in an envelope at an undisclosed location.
At this point, the victim became suspicious and notified Hamilton Police.
Emmanuel Dimotakis, 19, and Daniel Galluci, 21, were charged with fraud over $5,000. Dimotakis is facing an additional charge of impersonating a police officer.
Police are seeking at least one additional suspect, believed to be a female, for their involvement in collecting the money.