KCUR News
7:43 am
Thu December 24, 2009

Scammers Target Grandparents

Jefferson City, MO – The Missouri Attorney General's office is warning the elderly to beware of phone calls from people claiming to be their grandchildren.

The scam works like this: A caller posing as the grandchild will phone the victim, claim that he or she's in Canada and has been arrested or injured in an accident, and ask for money to be wired there via Western Union.

Attorney General Chris Koster says 20 elderly people have fallen victim to the scam.

Chris Koster: "Because perhaps of distance or trouble hearing, the senior citizen may actually believe that it is their grandchild on the other end."

In some cases, Koster says the caller will also have the Social Security Number or other information connected to the victim's actual grandchild.

Koster is urging anyone who receives such a call to check with family members to determine if the call is a hoax. He also says they can report the incident by calling the state's Consumer Hotline, at 1-800-392-8222.