The RCMP is reporting an increase in the number of cases in Manitoba involving the "grandparent scam" and one person has now been arrested after he had already bilked a senior out of $16,000 and was coming back for more.

On February 28, at about 3:35 p.m., Stonewall RCMP received a fraud report where a 79-year-old female attended the detachment, saying she believed she was a victim of the grandparent scam. 

She had received a call a few days earlier from someone claiming to be her grandson. 

“He said he was in a motor vehicle collision in Winnipeg and was arrested and needed money for bail,” the RCMP states in a release. “She was instructed to take out $8,000 in cash from her financial institution and that it would be picked up at her home. She then received a phone call from someone claiming to be her grandson’s lawyer who advised her the money would be picked up by courier and instructed her not to tell anyone. A male then came by the home and picked up the money.” 

Police say the following day, the victim received more phone calls from the same suspect advising her an additional $8,000 would be required to pay fines and exonerate her grandson. The same pick-up process occurred. Further calls were received a couple of days later asking for another large sum of money. 

When she went to her financial institution, the employee advised the victim of the possible scam, and she reported it to the RCMP. 

“A suspect was scheduled to come by her residence later that day. RCMP intercepted him, and he was arrested without incident. He was also wanted out of Alberta on a warrant for fraud.” 

Nathanial South, 32, has been charged with Fraud over $5,000. He was remanded into custody. 

The Manitoba RCMP is warning residents of this scam as there has been an increase in this specific fraud. 

Since January 1, 2024, there have been approximately 13 similar occurrences in southern Manitoba and an estimated total loss of approximately $70,000. 

“We believe there may be more victims of this scam and are asking the public to report any similar frauds to your local police as soon as possible,” police say. 

“Too many people are losing large sums of money to this scam, and we want Manitobans to be aware,” says Corporal Julie Courchaine of the Manitoba RCMP. “Please bring up this topic with friends and family as education and awareness will help protect others from being defrauded.”