TYLER (KYTX)-It's called the grandparents scam and it's most common now in the summer months when people are on vacation.
In the last week, two East Texans have fallen victim to the grandparent scam. One man lost almost ten thousand dollars.
"They make a frantic phone call saying they are their grandchild in need of help because they were in an accident, or they've been in jail or they've been in an accident and they've injured somebody else and basically what they are trying to do is get that person to wire money to them and then they're gone," Better Business Bureau President Mechele Mill said.
Mills says these 2 victims will not be the only ones called because the scammers focus on a certain area code. Grandfather Manny Kopelowitz saw one of these scams unfold.
"She just got a call from a police department in Canada saying their grandson had gotten into trouble had a DUI or had some drugs on him and he was in jail and they needed some money to bail him out," Kopelowitz said.
Kopelowitz's friend didn't fall for it, he knew his grandson wasn't in Canada. But Kopelowitz says older people like him don't always think twice before acting.
"They panic and they don't think to double check on it. We senior citizens can easily fall prey to something like that if we don't know what's going on," Kopelowitz said.
Sheriff Larry Smith says law enforcement agencies will never ask for debit cards or money orders. He urges senior citizens to do some research before sending money.
"The world is not going to come to an end if your grandson if it is accurate and your grandson has to stay in jail and extra hour or too. verify what you're being told to be the truth," Smith said.
Mills says one sign that it's a scam is when the caller asks the grandparent not to tell their parents.
One way to figure out if it is a family member on the line is to ask personal questions only a relative would know, such as pet's names or birth dates.
And if your family is going on vacation this summer the Better Business Bureau recommends getting the contact information of everyone they're traveling with. That way, if you do get a call that sounds like it could be part of this scam you can double check with someone you know is with your family.