This phone scam targets grandparents, who think they are aiding their grandchildren, by sending money for an emergency situation.
The typical scenario for this fraud is a grandparent receives a phone call from a con-artist claiming to be one of his or her grandchildren. The caller claims that they are in some kind of trouble – usually; a car accident, trying to return from a foreign country, or they need funds to pay bail because they have been arrested, and they need money immediately. The caller specifically asks the victim to not contact other relatives because the caller doesn’t want to “get in trouble” with other family members. Wanting to help their grandchild, the victim sends money electronically, usually through a form of money transfer.
Variations on the scam exist where the con-artist claims to be an old neighbor or friend of the family, etc.
A good rule of thumb to follow in this case is to check with other family and relatives, to verify that the person is in fact the relative that they say they are, and that they are in fact in need of assistance as reported by the caller.