Ottawa Police warns public of phone scams

Police say not to send money or personal ID to anyone other than trusted, verified source

The Ottawa Police Department issued a news release Thursday warning of an influx of telephone scams.

“Many of these scams include the caller claiming to be a grandson or granddaughter stating that they are either incarcerated or in the hospital and need access to currency to be released,” the news release reads. “The caller will sometimes claim to work for the jail or hospital and speak on the ‘injured’ or incarcerated’ person’s behalf.”

The news release says the caller will ask for a specific amount of money to be sent either via Western Union or to be picked up by a personal courier, and sometimes the caller will insist on the victim purchasing a high dollar amount of gift cards to be sent to a specific address chosen by the caller orchestrating the scam.

Tracking the money after it is sent makes it difficult to recover since the scams are generated overseas.

Other recent scams, according to the news release, include the caller insisting on the victim purchasing an extended warranty on a victim’s vehicle, a ploy to access personal information including social security numbers.

The Ottawa Police Department encourages the public not to send any money or personal information to anyone other than a trusted and verified source.