"Hello, grandma?"; police in Clinton, Iowa warn of scam that targets elderly

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CLINTON, Iowa (KWQC) - "Hello, grandma?"

Police in Clinton, Iowa are warning residents of a scam that is targeting elderly citizens and they're saying a lot of the scams start off by saying "Hello, grandma?"

"The scammers then intentionally alarm the target citizen with news of an arrest or medical emergency," the post reads. "In many cases the elderly target is so emotionally distraught by the news that they fail to ask qualifying questions from the scammers. It is also not uncommon for the elderly target to unintentionally call the scammer by their grandchild's name during the conversation arming the scammer with specific identification information of their grandchild that then can be used by the scammer to add credibility to their fraudulent claims. The scam always ends with a request for money and specific instructions on how to send the money. In many of the reported cases the scammers are found to be calling from outside the United States."

Police say this is not a new scam and this has been used for "many years" by criminals.

Police say recently they've been contacted at the Clinton Police Department regarding these scams and police want to warn others to spread the word.

"Please take the time to talk with your elderly family members, friends and neighbors and inform them not to provide identification information or send money to anyone claiming to be a family member in need without first qualifying the caller."