State police at Frackville are warning area residents of a phone scam operating in the area.

Troopers said information was received from West Mahanoy Township of a bail scam attempt. How it works is that a caller will state that a relative, such as a grandchild, niece or nephew, is in a foreign jail and has just one call for bail, with instructions provided to wire the money.

Telephone numers are given and names and ranks used, the callers seem to be official. Perhaps through social media the caller will be able to tell the person called the names of family members, etc., troopers said.

This is a scam. In the case out of the township the caller used the name of Sgt. Miller and provided a call-back number for wire transfer instructions, and even knew the name of the target's nephew, who he claimed was in a Mexican jail.

Further, the caller will mention that the relative does not want his parents, spouse, or children to know that he had traveled and that is why they can not call them. The callers are also adept at gathering some personal information through small talk and then using it in the conversation to be convincing, troopers added.

Troopers warned residents that at no time money should be wired to any location that the victim is unsure of. If calls are received informing a person that they have won a lottery, about a jailed relative needing bail, or to secure an inheritance, send no money and report the call to your local police or state police.