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Elderly victims targeted in phone scam

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Posted at 12:19 PM, May 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-03 12:19:41-04

A phone scam targeting elderly citizens is asking for gift cards in exchange for safety.

According to State Police, the caller claims to be a family member in trouble or arrested in another state or country. The caller puts urgency on the situation and asks the target not to contact other family.

In another scenario, police say the caller claims to be a law enforcement official with a family member who is under arrest. The caller demands bail or funds for them. Police say law enforcement agencies will never contact a family member for bail money.

Officials say in both scenarios, the victim will be asked to buy gift cards from popular retail stores in a specific dollar amount. The victim is told to call a number and read the gift card identification number over the phone.

According to troopers, the gift cards are then used to buy items from those stores and are resold at a lesser amount by the suspect.

If you have any elderly people in your family, police ask that you take the time to explain the scam to them.