PORTLAND -- Police want to spread the word about a scam targeting grandparents after at least two similar cases surfaced in Portland last month.

On Jan. 18, a young woman called an unsuspecting Portland grandma and fooled her into thinking she was her granddaughter and needed help. The grandmother wired $3,400 to an address in Bolivia and was about to send even more money when a bank worker called police, suspecting a possible scam.

The second incident occurred on Jan. 22 and the caller told the victim her grandson was being jailed in Port Au Prince, Haiti and needed money for attorney fees.

In both cases, the scammers had very personal information about both kids, including names and personal information, making their pitch very believable, said Sgt. Pete Simpson with the Portland Police Bureau.

Investigators don t know exactly where the scammers were calling from, but they wanted to get the word out so no one else becomes a victim.

This same scam, or similar versions of it, have surfaced across the country on many occasions. The U.S. State Department offers helpful resources for victims and information related to grandparent scams on its website.

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