AUBURN — A phone scam targeting several local elderly people originated in Canada, police said.

One woman was contacted over the phone by a man who claimed to be her son. The caller used information he had about her son to try to convince the woman. He told her he had been in an accident in Canada and needed money to get home.

He told her to send $2,350 to a Canadian location and cautioned her to “tell no one.”

He said she should go to Western Union and fill out paperwork out of the line of vision of the clerk.

“It’s very difficult to get your money back if you’ve been cheated over the phone,” Deputy Police Chief Jason Moen said Tuesday in a written statement. “If you hear lines like this or similar lines from a telephone salesperson, do not hesitate to just say, ‘No, thank you,’ and hang up the phone.”

The FBI says elderly people are often targets of fraud because they are:

• most likely to have large amounts of savings, own their homes, or have excellent credit.

• generally polite and trusting, traits easily exploited by con-men.

• less likely to report fraud because they don’t know where to report it, are too ashamed to, or don’t know they’ve been victims of fraud.

• often poor witnesses if a crime of fraud is prosecuted.

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