LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – As scam artist continue to find ways to separate you from your money, AARP is working to protect potential victims from what’s called a grandparents scam.

A grandparents scam is when a caller pretends to be your grandchild and says they are in danger and need you to send them money. According to the Federal Trade Commission, it has seen a striking increase in the median dollar amount that people over 70 are saying they lost to fraud. The FTC has also found people in that age group report mailing huge amounts of cash to people who pretended to be their grandchildren.

Warren searls, aarp volunteer:

“That’s very common and you just have to be careful,” AARP volunteer Warren Searls said. “One of the big things about this is for people to pay attention before it happens, to be aware that there are bad people out there that take advantage and just be aware. Be leery.”

If you get a call like this, it’s important to ask the caller questions that only your grandchild might know, like when was the last time they saw grandma. Also, don’t drop your guard because the number on your caller ID looks familiar. Often times the con artists will use programs to alter their numbers and make it appear like it’s from a familiar number. It’s important to make sure you don’t offer information and don’t let the call rush you into making a decision.