TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI)--Local police are seeing a jump in phone scams. In fact, in the last year, Americans lost $10.5 billion to phone scams.
Scammers recently have been preying on the elderly population by tugging at their heartstrings. Director of Aging and Disabled Services for the Area 7 Agency Gloria Wetnight calls this type of scam the "grandparent scam".
The person doing the scamming will say that your loved one is in jail, or in trouble, and they need money. According to Terre Haute Police Spokesman Ryan Adamson, if the caller says they need money immediately, that's a definite red flag.
The scammer will try to get you flustered and in a hurry. They will ask for your green dot card number, credit card number, or your checking account information. Sometimes, they will even ask you to send cash.
"Look if they say we have your loved one-- whether it be your son, grandson, daughter--call that person," Adamson says, "They'll tell you not to call them because they are 'here with us' or 'it's embarrassing' and that you should just 'send us the money and we'll take care of whatever needs to be done'. That's not true. Call that person, if they don't answer, call someone you trust."
If this happens to you, be sure to report it right away directly to authorities. Chances are, you are not the only one it's happening to.