Calgary's Better Business Bureau is warning people that a telephone scam targeting seniors is on the rise again.

Julie Thomas says her 85-year-old mother-in-law was called by a young man who said he was her grandson and had been in a traffic accident in Montreal.

"And it was a panicked young man who actually referred to her as Oma, which is her European grandmother name," she said. 

Her grandson was travelling at the time, but not in Montreal.

She lost $5,000.

"You know she got caught up in the anxiousness of the phone call and the believability of the young man and she ... wanted to be there for her grandson," said Thomas. 

Christine Bassit of the Better Business Bureau says this scam surfaces when young people are travelling in the summer or at Christmas.

"Because a lot of people they post a lot of personal information on their social media sites so it's easy to access family members as well," she said.

Bassit says seniors should be given family travel details and make sure a story checks out.

With files from CBC's Elizabeth Snaddon