Seniors both living in their own homes and in retirement living facilities need to be careful when they pick up the phone, says a Californian official.
Margaret Mims, Fresno's county sheriff, says there's a new scam targeting seniors that uses social networking sites to its advantage, according to a local Fox News channel.
Mims says that an elderly person might receive a phone call from someone pretending to be the senior's grandchild.
The person will say they need money and ask for some to be wired to their account, and the victim will eventually realize by talking to family that the caller wasn't actually a relative.
Social networking sites play a role in the scenario too. The scammers will use information they find on Facebook or MySpace to impersonate a specific elderly person's grandchild.
Officials in California think the con might have begun in Canada and seeped into the States some time after March. Fresno has recently experienced two incidents, and the sheriff's department is asking citizens to be more careful about what they post online.
Unfortunately, seniors in other states are also getting conned. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand issued a report that said half a million older persons in New York have lost a total of $180 million to scam artists, according to the Buffalo News.