CROWLEY, La. (KLFY) – The sheriff of Acadia Parish is warning residents of a telephone scam targeting senior citizens.

Sheriff K.P. Gibson said the scammer claims they are from an attorney’s office and has funds for the victim.

Authorities say the reason for why the victim is receiving money changes with each call.

“It is our belief that the scammer tries to build a conversation with the person he calls. This is where he would obtain information to complete the scam” Gibson said.

One Acadia Parish resident was recently scammed out of $20,000. The victim was convinced they would be awarded a greater amount of money but they had to pay $20,000 in fees before the award money would be disbursed.

Gibson urged residents to look out for the senior citizens in Acadia Parish.

“As a society, we need to help our senior citizens as they are being targeted for scams. Children or family members of our senior citizens need to get involved with discussing matters with their parents or family members. If your family member is willing, work with them regarding their accounts to assure that large withdrawals are not happening as part of fraud.  Scammers often tell their victim to keep the information quiet due to security or similar reasons. They want their victims to stay quiet so they can work to get every penny they can from a person’s account. This does not happen in one day. It often occurs over the period of a week or two. By being involved with reviews of the account, issues like these can be stopped in the early stages of the scam,” Gibson said.

The sheriff also explained the problem with scams is law enforcement often receives the complaint after the fact.

“Most of the scams that we have received over the last several years are originated outside of the United States. However, when you check the caller id or phone number that calls are received from, it will show as a valid phone number from within the United States. Sometimes this number will show as a local number” Gibson said.

With the scammers being outside the United States there is often no recourse for investigation or criminal charges.