Special to HNN Provided by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)— In recognition of National Grandparent's Day , Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is warning families to beware of phone scams targeting grandparents. 

In a typical "grandparent" phone scam, a grandparent receives a phone call from someone posing as a grandchild. The caller claims to be in trouble and in urgent need of money, maybe to pay a fine or to keep the grandchild out of jail. The grandparent is asked to send money immediately, often out of the country, using a prepaid money card or wire transfer.  In other variations of the scam, the person on the phone asks for iTunes gift cards. The caller will often ask the grandparent not to "tell Mom or Dad."

"Scammers believe grandparents are easy targets because of the special relationship many have with their grandchildren," Attorney General DeWine said. "We want to make sure families are educated about the kinds of scams that are out there, so they don't become victims."  

Grandparents who send money or gift cards likely will receive additional calls requesting more money. The scammer will claim that more money is needed to help the grandchild return home safely. Eventually, grandparents discover that their grandchild was not in trouble.

Ohioans can keep the following tips in mind to help prevent becoming a victim of this scam:

The Ohio Attorney General's Office warns consumers about scams and offers a variety of educational materials, including a phone scams checklist

Ohioans who suspect a scam should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at 800-282-0515 or www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov.