Scam Alert: Elderly people targeted in Clarksburg

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HARRISON COUNTY, W.Va (WDTV) - It's called the "Grandparents Scam."

"It's disturbing that they're targeting elderly people, who are probably most caring," said Clarksburg Police Lieutenant Jason Webber.

Clarksburg police say they've fielded complaints on a daily basis about scammers calling elderly people, and purporting to be their grandchildren in an attempt to get money.

"The grandparents scam usually involves a grandchild that's been incarcerated or in some kind of accident," said Lt. Webber.

In reality, the scammer is typically thousands of miles away--sometimes in another country.

Webber said the department has received about seven calls in the last three or four days, which leads him to believe the scammers are working their way through different areas.

"They seem to know a little bit about the victims, so it's just enough to get them to believe them and fall for the scam," Webber explained.

Those who reported the scams had quickly hung up the phone when they were contacted, but Webber said the true number of victims is not clear.

"A lot of times they're embarrassed if they fall for this, and they don't report the incident to the police department," Webber said. "And you just really don't know the true volume of victims out there."

The full story continues above, as one Clarksburg resident recalls the two times she was approached by someone who was running a blacktop scam.

You can also watch more of 5 News' interview with Webber, who is also sounding the alarm about the so-called "Dating Scam."