Phone scams targeting the elderly are becoming more regular than the cycles of the moon. New York State Police are announcing yet another plot to rip off older adults in our community, specifically grandparents.

State Police say Troopers in the Marcy patrol received multiple reports of what is now being dubbed the "Grandparents Scam." Officials say during these calls, similar to other scams targeting the elderly, the individual calls up the victim and claims to be a grandchild or relative who has been arrested and needs to pay the bail bondsman a sum of $20,000, immediately.

Another version of the scam happens when someone calls the elderly victim and says a relative has been in a serious accident and needs immediate financial help for emergency treatment, according to police. In some cases the scammer will call back and ask for money. Police say the unique element in this case is the person who picks up the money from the victims is an actual person who comes and gets it at the address of that victim. A description of the carrier in the Marcy case is that they are driving a large white van with no plates.

State Police say Troopers in Oneida are investigating similar scam complaints in the Stockbridge area in Madison County. State Police say,

The Federal Trade Commission received 24,545 complaints of individuals impersonating family members and friends, up from 20,234 in 2019. New Yorkers alone filed 1,359 complaints in 2020.

Troopers are offering a number of tips on how to avoid being victimized by these and other scams and you can find them on their website, The most important thing to remember is, if you feel you are a victim of a scam like this to call local authorities right away and don't ever agree to any payments without solid verification of the claim.

11 Ways to Avoid Getting Ripped Off When Holiday Shopping Online

The world-wide shipping delays have shoppers buying holiday gifts early this year and much of the commerce is happening online. After all, how can you avoid the amazing deals? Now more than ever, these amazing deals are shady transactions that look authentic and safe.

One way to shop safely online is to buy from local vendor websites, or visit sites like Etsy which touts small meaningful gifts, often times created by small businesses and crafters.

The Better Business Bureau recommends online buyers do research before they click the checkout button.

Here are 11 things you can do to avoid getting ripped off online, according to the Better Business Bureau.

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