MALIBU—The Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station has been warning citizens of a phone scam that has been asking residents to wire money overseas.

In a statement released by authorities the scammers have been making calls asking for financial assistance for imprisoned relatives. “Malibu/Lost Hills Station desk personnel have reported a sharp rise in calls from Malibu residents reporting they had received suspicious phone calls seeking financial assistance for a relative in need of immediate help.”

These phone scams are usually ploys to swindle people out of their money. The calls are generally made from outside the U.S. Authorities are advising people to check with their families about any relatives they believe to be in trouble and if they are indeed being scammed.

The phone scams can be reported to The Federal Bureau of Investigation Los Angeles office (310) 477-6565 or online at Internet Crime Complain Center, The accepts online internet complaints from an actual victim or third party. Please provide the following info when filing a claim: Name, mailing address, web address, telephone number as well as the organization that you believe committed the fraud against you.

Based upon reports from the Sherriff’s Station the caller would pretend to be a relative of the victim who has been arrested in a foreign country. During the call, the scammer would ask usually an elderly citizen not to notify any other family members about the incident due to some alleged penalty. The scammer later asks the victim to wire money usually through Western Union to the foreign country. After investigation it has been determined that the caller was a fraud and there were never a relative in any danger.

The Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff Deputies are asking anyone with information on the situation to contact the FBI anonymously by calling (800) 222-TIPS (8477) as well as texting the word ”˜TIPLA’ plus your tip to CRIMES (274637). Lastly you can also visit the Crimestoppers website at