According to KCCI, the Iowa Department of Public Safety is warning grandparents to watch out for a scam targeting them.

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The report states that criminal groups have targeted Iowa grandparents since 2008, but are now "presenting a new twist". The scam starts with a scammer calling the victim and pretending to be their grandchild. The scammer then claims that "they've been in an accident, hospitalized or put in jail, sometimes in a foreign country" and asks for money to help them.

The Iowa Department of Public Safety also says that the scammers will use "factual details about the victim's grandchild obtained from social media accounts" and that they also may team up with another scammer "pretending to be an attorney, doctor or police officer" to help back up the claims. The scammers want money wired to them or are seeking prepaid card numbers and banking information.

Don't fall victim to this scam! The Iowa Department of Public Safety suggest the following to ensure you don't get fooled:

1. Verify the person’s identity, by asking questions that a stranger couldn’t answer.
2. Don't act quickly. Many scammers asking for money use fear, excitement or sympathy.
3. Contact a trusted family member. Call a genuine phone number for your grandchild, another family member or friend to verify the story.
4. Report the scam to local authorities.
5. Don’t answer the door unless you know and trust the visitor.
6. Don’t send money. NEVER give out personal information, cash, wire money or send a check or money order by overnight delivery or courier.
7. File a complaint. Notify local law enforcement authorities, and report them to the Federal Trade Commission, as well as the Office of the Attorney General of Iowa.

You can find out more about family emergency scams HERE.

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