A Zeeland couple was tricked into sending a scammer $16,000 in cash and gift cards. Zeeland Police and others are sharing information on the scam in order to help others avoid it.

This morning, AARP and the Michigan Attorney General's Office warned about the scam which targets senior citizens. In the scam, people pose as a grandchild or other family member in trouble. It is known as the "grandparents scam."

In Zeeland, the couple was talked into sending cash via FedEx. They also purchased several Home Depot gift cards, then shared the numbers to the gift cards via phone.

Zeeland Police say employees at both locations shared their concerns about the suspicious circumstances with the couple, but the scammer had already convinced the couple to follow through with the money and gift cards.

To avoid the grandparents scam, people are reminded:

  • Do not give out personal information.
  • Verify the identity of the person contacting you by trying to contact them through another means or through another family member.
  • Urgent demands for wire transfers, cash or gift cards are suspicious.
  • Make the person contacting you tell you their name. Do not guess it.

Sadly, scams like this will never stop. The best we can do is share information on what is happening and how to avoid the scam to keep those who are most vulnerable from being taken advantage of.