BEVERLY HILLS (CBS) — The Beverly Hills Police Department is warning the public Friday to be on guard against scam artists who prey on seniors by posing as youthful relatives in desperate need of emergency funds.

Typically, a scammer will contact a target by telephone or email pretending to be a favorite grandchild, niece or nephew, wait for the responding party to say a name, assume that person’s identity and claim to need money to deal with an accident or other crisis.

“Often times they will add, `Don’t tell mom or dad,”‘ said Lt. Mark Rosen of the Beverly Hills Police Department.

The money is usually sent via Western Union or MoneyGram, Rosen said.

“While many seniors have reported the scam without falling prey to it, unfortunately, many others have been victimized,” he said.

Anyone receiving such solicitations should contact other family members to verify the request, Rosen said.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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