State police at Schuylkill Haven are warning residents of that area of Schuylkill County of a phone scam being used to defaud people of money.

According to troopers victims receive a phone call from a person posing as a relative. The person claims that they have either been in a traffic accident or have been arrested and pleads for funds to be wired to them to pay for fines or damages.

Troopers said the caller used pieces of accurate personal information to convince the victim that they are actually their relative and claim a bad telephone connection or disguise their voice to convince the victim of their authenticity.

It is believed, troopers said, that the caller obtains information about the victim from public information sources as well as blog postings and internet social website postings placed by the impersonated relative.

In most cases the victim is an elderly grandparent or semi-distant relative. In most cases the wired money is transferred to locations outside the United States which further complicates the investigation, troopers said.

If anyone has been the subject of this type of scam they should contact their local police as well as the office of the state Attorney General.