The New York State Police are again reminding people to be on guard for phone and online scams after a Florida woman recently was arrested in the so-called “Grandparent Scam.”

Grandmother Coffee

28-year-old Angie Rios of Miami is accused of calling an elderly couple in Western New York, telling them their grandson was in jail and to wire $40,000 to get him out.  Rios got the money and deposited it into her bank account in Florida.

Troopers say resist the urge to act immediately, no matter how desperate the caller makes the situation out to be.  Always try to verify a supposed emergency, check the phone number, check the story with relatives even if you are told to keep it secret and never wire money or send check by overnight courier.

Investigators say scammers are pretty convincing and it’s surprising how easy it is for them to impersonate someone using social networking sites to put together personal profiles that sound really legitimate.  The criminals prey on emotions making people think their loved one is in serious trouble or even danger, swear victims to secrecy and pressure people into sending money right away so it can’t be tracked.

Report possible fraud to or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP.

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