Local authorities are cautioning citizens about a new scam that has tricked at least one area resident into giving them money for helping a relative get out of jail.

According to the Buchanan County Sheriff's Office, a local resident lost a large amount of money in a recent scam incident. The victim was told that a nephew had been in a traffic accident in another state, and was arrested, and required money for bail or other uses.

Most of the victims are elderly residents. Callers pretend to be a niece, nephew or grandchild, and claim that they were in an accident or are being held in jail, and they need money.

Another person on the phone will tell the victim to withdraw cash, then put the money on the front step of their home, or give it to a courier sent to their house to collect the cash.

The scam has been reported in Buchanan, Dubuque, Hardin and Jasper Counties.
Authorities suggest that if you get such a call, just hang up, and get in touch with someone to verify if the relative in question is actually in trouble.

A vehicle that may be involved in the scam incidents, is described as a white or lighter colored car or small SUV, with a white male driving it.

If anyone has information on these incidents, they are asked to call the Buchanan County Sheriff's Office.

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