Winnipeg police are again warning the public about the so-called grandparent scam.

The fraud, also known as the emergency scam, has been around for some time and has claimed victims, mostly seniors, in many Canadian cities.

The scam involves a suspect calling an elderly person and claiming to be his or her grandchild.

The suspect then claims they are in jail, or have some other critical emergency, and need money wired to them.

The suspect urges the person not to say anything to anyone as he or she is embarrassed about being in trouble.

In some instances, another person pretending to be a lawyer talks to the victim and provides them with direction on where and to whom to send the money.

Winnipeg police say they have recently been receiving a growing number of reports from people who have been scammed.

In recent cases, two grandparents used money transfer services to send approximately $15,000 to people pretending to be relatives.

Since November 2009, Winnipeg seniors have been victimized by this scam to the tune of $80,000, police said in a news release.

The Winnipeg Police Service commercial crime unit is investigating the incidents with other agencies and encourages people to discuss the scam with older adults who may be in care facilities or who they feel may be vulnerable to the scam.

Anyone who gets such a call can press *57 on their phone to trace the call after they hang up, police said.

Further information on the scam can be found on the website for the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.