MICHIGAN (the Patch)— A new scam is targeting the elderly in Michigan.

On Tuesday Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and AARP Michigan President Paula Cunningham urged Michigan grandparents to avoid a scam that bilked a Zeeland couple out of $16,000.

The scheme — known as the Grandparents Scam — preys on vulnerable senior citizens with con artists posing as a grandchild or other relative in distress. A prior Consumer Alert was issued from Nessel’s Consumer Education team.

A Zeeland couple was talked into sending cash via FedEx and obtaining multiple Home Depot gift cards to later share the numbers via phone, Nessel’s office said. Zeeland Police detailed that despite the concern expressed by employees at both locations, the scammer had already manipulated the grandparents enough to ensure they’d follow through with the demands.

“Our job is to protect the people of Michigan – and this consumer alert is an important way to do that. It’s equally important to be aware of ways in which people try to get you to hand over your money,” said Nessel. “It’s unacceptable for bad actors to exploit our love and concern for our family members for criminal purposes. My office is committed to ensuring that our state residents are protected from these types of despicable acts and that Michiganders are not being taken advantage of.”

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