LARGO — Pinellas County Sheriff’s detectives are alerting residents about a scammer posing as a grandchild in need of help. Since January, detectives have noticed an increase in the Grandparent Scam, which targets elderly residents.

Detectives say the scammer contacts the victims pretending to be one of their grandchildren. The suspect may inform the victim that their grandchild is injured and is being transported to the hospital, or the suspect may say their grandchild has been arrested and needs bond money.

The suspect instructs the victim to hide cash in a magazine and then send the cash through the mail. The suspect tells the victim not to contact law enforcement or other family members.

Detectives say victims later discover their grandchild was never injured or arrested. Furthermore, the cash had been picked up and is untraceable.

Detectives say at least nine Pinellas County residents have been targeted by this scam since January.

Detectives advise residents to verify the status of their grandchild with other family members before providing the cash.

Anyone with information on this scam is asked to call Cpl. K. Frazho at 727-582-6200.