A 79-year-old couple ships $8,000 in cash to post bail for their grandson who they were told was arrested for drunk driving -- only to find out it was a scam and their grandson was not in jail, according to a victim’s online comment under a consumer warning issued by the Federal Trade Commission.

Phone scammers convinced the elderly couple their grandson was in trouble after receiving a frantic call from a young man begging for money. They believed it was their grandson and even spoke with his "public defender," according to the report.

The young man’s grandfather immediately got the cash, and drove at 5 a.m. to the nearest Federal Express office and shipped the package containing the cash. He spent over $100 in shipping costs and said he was completely fooled by the voice on the other end of the phone.

Luckily, he was later able to contact Fed Ex, intercept the package, and the money was returned.

Others have not been as fortunate -- phone scammers are calling victims and fabricating family emergencies to get money over the phone, according to a report from Carol Kando-Pineda, an attorney in the FTC’s Division of Consumer and Business Education. These family-emergency scammers call and pretend to be relatives or authority figures like lawyers or police officers, according to the report.

The callers manipulate their victims with pleas for help, “I lost my wallet and ID. I’m stranded -- please wire money,” or “your grandson is being held in jail. He needs bail money right away.”

These con artists will call, text, e-mail or send messages on social media, asking for funds to be sent immediately. They craft convincing tales and insist their request be kept a secret. It is not uncommon for these callers to have personal information about loved ones or attempt to guess facts about them, according to the report.

No matter how convincing the story is, it is still likely a scam. If a call like this is received, victims should contact the relative to validate the claims even if instructed not to, according to Kando-Pineda.

Do not wire money, send a check, overnight a money order, or pay with a gift card or reloadable cash card -- these payment methods are equivalent to sending cash and would require immediate action to successfully intercept. If anyone calls with instructions to send them money in this fashion, it is likely they are a scammer, according to the report.

If you or your client have been victimized by one of these criminals, contact the company used to transfer the money and notify them the transaction was fraudulent and request the transaction be reversed. A report can also be filed with the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint.