Washington, DC (WIBX) - The Federal Bureau of Investigation is warning the public about "The Grandparent Scam."

Elderly folks are usually contacted via telephone, often from someone claiming to be a police officer, a doctor, or a lawyer representing the victim's grandson or granddaughter, who is apparently in trouble and in need of money quickly.

The calls are often made late at night or early in the morning when the victim is not thinking clearly.

The FBI cautions the public to try to contact their loved ones first before acting hastily, and think carefully before giving out personal information over the telephone. Once you wire money you cannot get it back.

Although this is not a new scam, the agency is reporting a marked increase in incidences of the crime. If you suspect that you have been a victim, or if someone calls you, the FBI wants to know about it. You can contact their Internet Crime Complaint Center by clicking on this link: http://www.ic3.gov/complaint/default.aspx or by calling the FBI Office in Albany at (518) 465.7551.