Scam in Aiken targeting the elderly

AIKEN, SC (WFXG) - A victim in Aiken scammed out of $1,300 thought she was helping a family member.

Detective Jeremy Hembree, Aiken Department of Public Safety said, "She was contacted by an individual representing himself as her grandson in jail in Mexico and needed money wired to him to basically get out of jail."

The victim took his number and wired the cash. Days later, the same person called back and said they needed two thousand dollars more.

But the victim started asking questions and found out her grandson wasn't in Mexico. The victim was instead, part of the Grandparent Scam.

Detective Hembree said, "They play on people's emotions and the generosity to help family members out, and they know the right questions to ask."

Detective Hembree said scammers will use Google and Facebook to track down family connections and target the elderly. It's not uncommon in Aiken, either, but there's not a number on how many cases exist because too many never get reported.

Detective Hembree said, "Some people feel embarrassed and do not want to report it and unfortunately not a lot of ways we can track it."

So his advice?

"Contact that family member they're calling about and ask questions."

Asking questions he says, can protect everyone involved.

ADPS said the individual tried to stop the first payment, but the money had already been picked up. Luckily, the second payment was never sent.