Last updated: April 04. 2014 11:45PM - 1494 Views

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DALLAS TWP. — Bob Harris, 79, and his wife Mary, 80, received a phone call Wednesday from someone pretending to be their grandson, saying he and a friend were in trouble in New York City and needed $1,000 to get out of jail. The caller promised to pay it back, and said he could take a credit card number.

Mary Harris suspected the caller might not be her grandson, and when she told him she didn’t have a credit card or $1,000, the man hung up.

Dallas Township Police Chief Robert Jolley said these types of scams happen are common. Roughly 10 scam attempts a year are reported to his office, he said.

Scammers usually target senior citizens, although Jolley said they have called his mobile phone. They use computerized dialing machines that choose random numbers, usually request around $300 and prey on their victims’ emotions, pretending to be from a charity organization or on behalf of a troubled loved one, Jolley said.

A good way to thwart a scam is to ask for the caller’s phone number and offer to call right back, he said, adding that lottery game operators and folks claiming they found large sums of money and want to share it will never call you by phone.

“If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is,” Jolley said.

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