SMITH CO. - The Smith County Sheriff's office is alerting the public to a scam targeted at grandparents.

Called the "grandparents scam", residents may receive a call or email from someone who pretends to be your grandchild and claims to have been arrested.

If their voice sounds different, they will claim to have a cold.

They will claim that they need money sent immediately to post bail or pay for damages from a car wreck.

They will also ask you not to tell anyone about this incident. They will hand the phone to an alleged police officer or attorney who will guide you on how to send the money, in example, cash in the mail, or they will request that you purchase gift cards and call them back with the number on the cards.

Very often the victims want to help their grandchild and do not want to inform the parents of the situation, so they comply and send the funds.

Please remember, in this situation you should contact your grandchild and/or other relatives to make inquiries and call the Smith County Sheriff's Office for assistance if something does not sound legitimate.

A jail or court would never ask for cash to be mailed or gift cards to be purchased to post bail or pay for damages.

For more information on the Smith County Sheriff’s Office visit The Sheriff’s Office also has a FB page and can be followed on Twitter at @SmithCSO.