The scheme has been around for years -- a caller contacts an elderly victim, pretends to be their grandchild, and then claims to have been arrested in another city. Another scammer then gets on the phone and poses as a law enforcement official, requesting the elder victim send gift cards or wire money to bail out the grandchild.
The Apex Police Department is warning residents that scammers are getting personal information about their victims from Facebook and other social media sites that are open to the public, after a scam attempt was brought to their attention.
Police are urging people to make sure their pages, and their family's pages are secure and private. Open pages are viewable by everyone and personal information can be obtained by searching a person's profile page.
Officials are also telling residents if they receive a similar call, first confirm where their grandchild or family member are by contacting them directly or contacting the official number of the jail or law enforcement facility where the caller claims to be at.
Authorities say if you think it may be a scam, call your local law enforcement agency and they can help you verify the caller's information. Never send gift cards, give bank information, credit card information or wire money.