Fraud Alerts

Watch out for Grandparent Scams

One of the fastest-growing scams these days is what is known as the Grandparent Scam.

In a typical Grandparent Scam, a fraudster contacts a Senior posing as a grandchild who is in some sort of trouble. The trouble could be that they’ve been arrested and need bail money, or they are travelling and have been robbed, or that they’ve had some sort of medical emergency. Sometimes, the caller claims to be a lawyer, doctor or police officer calling on the grandchild’s behalf. Of course, you love your grandchildren and your first instinct would be to help them, any way that you can. Unfortunately, that’s what the scammers are counting on.

Here are ways to protect yourself from this type of scam:

  • The criminal will often start the phone call by saying “Grandma/Grandpa, do you know who this is?” The grandparent may say a name of a grandchild. Then, the fraudster will use it to gain credibility. If someone calls and asks you, “Do you know who this is?” say no and have them tell you.
  • If the caller uses a grandparent name that you don’t use – for example they say “Grandma” but you go by “Nana”, hang up the phone immediately. Unfortunately, scammers may know your grandchild’s name and what they call you, so be cautious even if they know these details.
  • Be skeptical of any urgent request for money. If you are being pressured to act quickly, it’s most likely a scam.
  • Ask the caller for some personal information that only your grandchild would know, like the name of a childhood pet, or where their parent works. A grandchild should be able to answer these questions, but an imposter probably can’t.
  • Fraudsters may ask you to transfer the money with a wire transfer, e-transfer, or by purchasing gift cards. Always be suspicious of anyone asking you to transfer money urgently by these methods. And be even more concerned if they offer to have someone come to your home to pick up the funds. If they ask for your address, hang up the phone. Your grandchild would know where you live.
  • Usually fraudsters will ask the Grandparent to keep the matter secret and not tell anyone. They may claim that they don’t want their parents to find out about the trouble they’re in. This is a major red flag for fraud. To verify the details before sending any funds, contact the grandchild (or parent of the grandchild) the scam artist is claiming to be.
  • Thieves will often call late at night to create confusion and disorient the grandparent. They may call multiple times over a short period of time to create a false sense of urgency. If you hang up on them, they may call back several times. Don’t be fooled and trust your instinct.

If you’re a Grandparent, or have Grandparents in your life, make sure they know how to protect themselves from this type of fraud. If you think you’ve been the victim of a Grandparent Scam, report it to the police immediately. Reach out to friends or family or speak with someone at your Kindred branch or at our Member Contact Centre (1.888.672.6728) for support.

Keep up to date with all of the latest fraud alerts and how to avoid getting scammed.

Beware of Gift Card Scams

Scammers are always trying to come up with new and creative ways to steal your hard-earned money! One of the more common methods these days is to talk well-meaning folks into purchasing gift cards and then reading them the numbers over the phone, or texting them a photograph. The scammers then sell the gift card numbers or purchase expensive things that they can turn around and sell for cash.

Here are a few important things to remember so that you don’t fall victim to a gift card scam.

  • First and foremost, if you are being asked to buy a gift card to pay someone, STOP! It’s a scam.
  • Gift cards are for gifts, not payments. Anyone who demands payment for anything by gift card is trying to scam you.
  • If someone is pressuring you to purchase gift cards, hang up the phone. No legitimate business or agency will ever ask you to pay your bill with gift cards.
  • One common scam is a recording claiming to be from the Canada Revenue Agency. They often threaten that the police have a warrant for your arrest. This is never true. The Canada Revenue Agency will NEVER ask for gift cards, and they don’t call ahead to let you know the police are on their way. Hang up the phone immediately when you hear one of these recordings.
  • On that note, the police will NEVER ask you to buy a gift card to pay a fine.
  • Another common scam is for someone to call claiming to be from Microsoft and telling you that they can see a virus on your computer. They may provide personal details about you that make it seem like they can see your computer, like your address or age. This is a scam. They cannot see your computer. They may try to get you to purchase gift cards to pay for them to fix your computer. They may also try to gain access to your computer remotely. Hang up the phone, even if they seem to know things about you.
  • Sometimes scammers claim to be from the hydro or gas company. They threaten that your heat or electricity will be cut off if you don’t pay a bill, and they ask for you to purchase gift cards to pay it. Utility companies will NEVER ask you to pay your bill with gift cards.
  • The fraudster may claim that you have won a large prize, but first you need to pay some sort of fee using gift cards. Remember, no honest business or agency will ever make you pay with a gift card. And ask yourself, did you even enter a contest?
  • There has also been a drastic increase in emergency-grandparent scams. Someone calls you claiming to be one of your grandchildren. If the voice doesn’t sound quite right, they will say they have a cold or COVID. They will claim to be in some sort of trouble and ask you to purchase gift cards, and sometimes offer to send a taxi to pick you up. They will usually tell you NOT to tell anyone. This is a scam – hang up the phone immediately.

What if you’ve already purchased the gift card before you realize it’s a scam?

  • First of all, give yourself a big pat on the back for catching on – these scammers are excellent at convincing honest people to believe their scams. You may be able to fix it.
  • Do not send the scammers any photos of the gift cards or their PIN numbers.
  • Do not read them the numbers over the phone.
  • Immediately block their number if you can. If that is not possible, do not answer the phone. Do not be intimidated by angry messages on your voicemail. Remember, they are criminals.
  • If you have given them the gift card number and PIN number, make sure to keep the card and receipt. Contact your local police as soon as possible to alert them to the scam. As well, report the incident to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
  • Reach out to a trusted family member or friend. Even if you are embarrassed about falling for a scam, it’s much better to have some support, especially if the fraudsters keep trying to contact you.
  • Visit your local Kindred branch or call our Member Contact Centre at 1.888.672.6728 for advice and support.

Protect yourself by keeping up with the latest fraud alerts on our website and learning how to spot a scam!

Protect Yourself – Choose Strong Passwords and PINs

One of the best ways to outsmart fraudsters is to make sure they never gain access to your personal information. If you do anything online, chances are you use passwords and PINs (personal identification numbers) to access your accounts with your favourite businesses. By creating strong passwords and PINs, you will make life a lot more difficult for any scam artists who are trying to steal your personal information.

Here are some tips for creating the best passwords and PINs possible, and for keeping them safe once you’ve made them:

  • Make sure you use a unique password for each account and device. Using the same password for everything can result in a cyber-criminal gaining access to ALL of your online accounts rather than just one. If you have difficulty remembering multiple passwords, try using a password manager, which is an app that securely stores your passwords.
  • Be sure to never share your passwords.
  • Try creating passwords that are at least 8 characters and contain a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and other characters. Avoid using an exclamation mark “!” at the end of passwords – that is the most common symbol used in passwords by far!
  • Always make sure you log out of websites completely, rather than just closing the window. This is especially important if you are on a computer that is not your own.
  • Avoid using the names of pets and family members in your passwords. Scammers know that people commonly use these words as passwords, because they are easy to remember. But they are also easy to figure out, especially if you’ve ever posted anything about your family or pets on social media.
  • Consider using a passphrase instead of a password. A passphrase is a mix of random words that mean something only to you. The more unique the combination of words, the more unlikely it would be that anyone could guess it.
  • Another password trick is to use the first letters of words in a sentence. For example, if the sentence is “the dog barked at the cat”, then the letters would be “tdbatc”. Randomly capitalize some of the letters – “TdBaTc”, then add some numbers and symbols – “?TdBaTc&3972#” and you have a very difficult password to guess!
  • Think about the passwords you are using online. Are they as secure as they should be? If you are worried that they might be too easy for a fraudster to figure out, take the time to re-evaluate and come up with some new ones. Your passwords are an important part of protecting yourself, your identity and your money from cyber criminals. Make sure yours are secure. Keep up to date with the latest Fraud Alerts on our website and learn how to spot a scam!

Aug 31, 2022 /

Protect yourself from Fraud – don’t be spoofed!

Cyber criminals use spoofing to fool victims into giving up sensitive information or money or downloading malware. Spoofing is when a cyber criminal creates a website that looks like Kindred’s by using similar URLs, colours, logos, and designs. Cyber criminals hope that you fall for their trick so that you enter (and give up) your personal information or online banking access credentials. As a best practice, Kindred strongly recommends that you visit and bookmark our home page rather than using a search engine to visit the page. From Kindred’s home page you can click the Login button to enter your credentials and access online banking at

Jul 26, 2021 /

Watch out for Fake ‘Kindred’ Phone Calls

A small number of non-members have alerted Kindred to fraudulent phone calls they have received where callers claim to be Kindred staff members. 

This is a case of telephone “spoofing”, when fraudsters alter the Caller ID to show a different number so they can mislead the call recipient into believing that the call is either local and/or from a trusted organization.

At this point, we have not seen a direct impact to any Kindred members; however, it is possible that a spoofed call reaches a member. Kindred staff members will never ask you to disclose your password / Personal Access Code (PAC) or debit card PIN. 

If you receive a call that you believe may be fraudulent, please end the call and contact Kindred at 1.888.672.6728.