HAILEY, Idaho (KLIX) – Authorities are warning people about a scam that is targeting elderly residents in Blaine County.

Similar scams have targeted the county’s elderly in the past, according to the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office, but with this new one callers are contacting residents saying they are with the public defender’s office.

The scammer tells the elderly resident that a family member, often a grandchild, has been arrested for an offense that hurt another person. He or she will remain in jail, and the name given to the press, if the grandparent does not provide immediate payment, sometimes as much as $9,000.

In one instance a caller even put a crying girl on the phone begging for help, the sheriff’s office said in a post on its Facebook page.

Authorities urge people to inform their parents, grandparents and elderly friends about the scam and to not fall for these types of calls that try to play on the emotions.

Those who believe they’ve been the target of a scam should contact the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office at 208-788-5555.