(KMOV)-- Police are warning people to beware of a telephone scam targeting senior citizens.
Authorities said there has been an increase in the type of scam where a person contacts a senior citizen and pretends to be a grandchild of the senior citizen. The caller will tell the senior citizen that they have been arrested and need money wired to them for bail money or to pay a fine.
The Madison County Sheriff’s Office took such a report Thursday where the caller was able to scam the senior citizen out of several thousand dollars. The caller was able to convince the senior citizen that she was actually her grandchild. The caller asked the senior citizen to wire money to Canada and to Haiti. The caller indicated that the money would make it to the necessary location to pay the fine and bail money.
Here are a few tips to avoid being scammed:
· If the caller asks you to wire money, hang up.
· Don’t be afraid to verify the caller’s identity by asking a question whose answer only your grandchild would know.
· Don’t worry about offending the caller.
· Resist the pressure to act immediately.
· Call your son or daughter or grandchild at the legitimate phone numbers you have for them to check whether there’s any truth to the story.
· Know that scammers often target seniors and read the obituaries in local newspapers to learn names of people’s relatives.
· Call your local law enforcement if you need advice before making a decision.