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MINT HILL, N.C. --Mint Hill police are warning older residents to be on the lookout for bogus calls from a fake family member in need of money.

The scam is called the Grandparent Scam and it is being used to scam thousands of dollars out of elderly residents.

You're a grandparent, and you get a phone call or an e-mail from someone who identifies himself as your grandson, Mint Hill police said in a statement.

The scammer then tells the grandparent he or she needs their help. They've beenarrested in another country,and need money wired quickly to pay their bail. The scammer goes on to tell the grandparent not to say anything to their parents.

Mint Hill police say three cases have happened this year. One case had the victim wiring $3,000 to $4,000, money they ll never get back.

Police are warning residents that if you receive a call or e-mail where someone is contacting you for money, try to contact the grandchild or another family member to determine whether or not the call is legitimate.

Police say never wire money based on a request made over the phone or in an email. Wiring money is like giving cash -- once you send it, you cannot get it back.

In the cases that Mint Hill police dealt with, the callers have been found to be international callers. In fact, the numbers have been traced to Canada.

The police department is unable to investigate this incident and the victim has lost all the money that was sent. Police say it is important to verify all calls and requests for money in any instance.

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