GOODYEAR, AZ - It starts with a phone call and ends with a victim giving away their entire life savings.
Goodyear police said they're seeing it more and more this year and that's why police are sending out an alert warning Goodyear residents of scams.
Officer Lisa Kutis with the Goodyear police department said scammers are targeting city residents with phone calls.
"We are seeing an average of about 1 to 5 more calls a week and what's worrisome about that number is that a lot of these scams go unreported," said Kutis.
Kutis said most of the scams being reported center around specific story lines.
"Someone will call you saying that your grandchild is in jail and you need to wire money. They will pretend to be APS and tell you your lights are about to get shut off," said Kutis.
Other stories scammers are telling people include police officers calling about jury fines and attorneys telling potential victims they need to wire money because a lawsuit is being filed against a family member.
"These people can be very convincing and very intimidating," said Kutis.
Officials said the best thing to do if you get one of these calls is to not give out any personal information and make a couple of calls of your own.
"Call your family member and say ‘hey where is Johnny this weekend, is he out of the country? Is he on spring break?’ Talk to family members, talk to the police. Call our non-emergency line at 623-932-1220. We are happy to talk to you," said Kutis.
Police said the scam works by convincing victims to buy prepaid debit cards and than give them over to the scammers.
Some families reported losing as much as 27,000 dollars.
"We had one person who got a call about her granddaughter being in jail. She then called her granddaughter and found out everything was fine. When the scammer called back and she told them she talked to her granddaughter. The scammer quickly said that's a communication violation, another1500 dollar fine. These people are very good at selling their stories," said Kutis.
Along with calling police, experts said you can also check the unknown caller against a list of scam phone numbers
800notes.com is one website where you can enter a phone number and see if anyone else has gotten a phone call about it.