Con artists are finding more and more clever ways to steal your money. And oftentimes, scammers target vulnerable members of society, especially older adults, assuming they aren’t savvy enough to recognize a scam.

A new scam that is sweeping the nation involves con artists calling older adults pretending to be a grandchild or close relative, asking for money to get them out of an emergency situation.

“They’ll say that they were in an accident or that they’re in jail and that they need money fast,” says Amy Nofziger, AARP fraud expert who joins Dr. Phil on Thursday. “And these cons will go online and search social media sites for more information about the person, like the grandchild’s name or where they live; anything to sound more credible. And, sadly, the unsuspecting victim will do anything to help their loved one, and this can oftentimes have them lose thousands of dollars.”

In the video above, hear more from Amy, including how to protect yourself or a loved one from falling victim to this scam. And, hear what happened to one woman who was targeted twice.

For more information on avoiding scams, visit And, check out AARP’s new podcast series, The Perfect Scam. The first episode is on grandparent scams.

This episode airs Thursday. Watch more here.