‘Grandparent scam’ targeted elderly in Calgary, say police after arrests

Calgary officers are searching for two people and have charged two others after a series of so-called “grandparent scams” that targeted the elderly, police said Friday.

Police said they were alerted to incidents of fraud that were similar and took place between Dec. 7 and Dec. 22, 2021.

In the most recent incident, a victim told police she was phoned by a man pretending to be her grandson, who told her he had been arrested and needed money for bail.

The victim then spoke with another man who impersonated a police officer. He said she needed to pay thousands in bail fees.

She was told a court-appointed courier would come to her home to collect the cash payment, police said.

Several days later, an unknown woman went to the victim’s home to collect the money.

The Calgary Police Service website says that grandparent scams have been around for years and regularly resurface.

“It is important to note that Calgary Police Service officers, and other law enforcement officers, are not involved in collecting bail money from citizens,” police said in a news release on Friday.

2 arrested after search warrant executed

Police are still searching for the unknown woman, who is described by police as approximately 20 to 25 years old with brown hair.

At the time of the offence, police say, she was wearing a black winter hat, a blue face mask, a dark coloured winter coat and blue jeans. 

Police are still searching for the unknown woman, left, and Makayla Mentis, right, in relation to the scams in Calgary. (Calgary Police Service)

Police say they are also searching for Makayla Mentis, 24.

Mentis is wanted on warrants for three counts of fraud over $5,000 and three counts of possession of property obtained by crime. 

Two other people were arrested and charged after investigators executed a search warrant at a downtown apartment, two storage units and two vehicles believed to be associated with the scams, police said.

Kashywayne Colie, 27, is charged with:

  • Hazardous storage of a firearm.
  • Possession of a weapon dangerous to the public peace.
  • Unauthorized possession of a firearm.
  • Unauthorized possession of a restricted/prohibited weapon.
  • Possession of a firearm without a licence.
  • Possession of a prohibited/restricted firearm with ammunition.
  • Possession of a firearm contrary to a prohibition order.
  • Three counts of breach of a release order.
  • Possession of a controlled substance.
  • Fraud over $5,000.
  • Possession of property obtained by crime.

Shannon Belcourt, 37, is charged with:

  • Fraud over $5,000.
  • Possession of property obtained by crime.

Anyone with information about these scams, the whereabouts of Mentis, or the identity of the unknown female perpetrator is asked to call the police non-emergency number at 403-266-1234.

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