EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU)— Pennsylvania State Police are warning residents to be wary of “Loved One” scams.

According to state police, a “Loved One” scam is when someone fraudulently contacts you by phone and says a loved one, typically a grandchild, is in trouble and currently in jail.

Officials say the scammers might mention specific names and say, “don’t talk to anyone about this, I’m sure it would be embarrassing to your family.”

The scammer will then ask for cash in order for the family member to be released from jail and ask for an address where they can pick up the money.

Investigators released the following tips on avoiding scams:

  • Don’t feel pressured to provide payment for something or someone; do research into it first and run it by a friend or family member.
  • Do not give out sensitive information over the phone. Example: social security number or bank account number.
  • Do not give remote access to anyone for any of your devices.
  • Never make a payment to someone with gift cards, it’s a scam!
  • Remember, just because someone says they are from a certain “company” doesn’t mean they actually are!
  • If you feel a phone call might be a scam or you are being asked for sensitive information, hang up!
  • Scams can happen through e-mails also. If there are a lot of misspelled words, it might be a scam. Always look at the e-mail address it was sent from, if you don’t recognize it, don’t ’t respond or open any attachments