Markham man arrested after elderly residents lose nearly $10K in grandparent scam

Durham police have arrested and charged a Markham man after he allegedly scammed elderly residents out of thousands of dollars by pretending to be a family member in crisis.

According to investigators, multiple victims received phone calls on Aug. 18 from a male claiming to be their grandson. The suspect said he was in trouble and needed bail money.

Then, someone claiming to be an officer of the court advised the victims that their grandson had been involved in a car accident injuring a pregnant woman, and that $9,000 was needed for bail, police say. The suspect then organized for a “bondsman” to retrieve the money from the victims.

One of the parties called on Aug. 18 had been victims of the same scam earlier in August, according to investigators, and immediately reported the call to police.

Durham Regional Police’s Financial Crimes Unit attended the scene and were able to arrest the suspect without incident, they said.

Following an investigation, it was found the suspect had recently defrauded another victim, successfully obtaining $9,000 in the exchange.

Jaaziah Brereton, 22, was arrested and charged with two counts of fraud over $5,000 and one count of possession of proceeds of crime.

Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to contact D/Cst. Middleton at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 5321.