A warning for New Jersey grandparents.  Scams targeting grandparents are on the rise.  It's becoming increasingly common. A grandparent receives a call from someone impersonating a grandchild in distress and demanding cash.

Since 2010, the Federal Trade Commission has recorded more than 40,000 such scams and it is estimated that many more go unreported. In New Jersey, there were only 22 such complaints in 2012 and so far, this year there's been only one complaint.

"We're happy to see the numbers trending the right way here in New Jersey, but we continue to educate people about it and to get the word out there," said Attorney General Jeff Chiesa. "It can be an abrupt call in the middle of the night with emergency circumstances and you're told to wire money. But, once that money is out of your hands, the chance of getting it back is very remote. Because of the way this scam works with money orders and wire transfers, that money is in those people's hands."

There are ways to avoid becoming a victim.

"You can create a code word that only family members would know to help identify immediately if it is one of your grandchildren. You can also call the grandchild's parents to see if there's any legitimacy to what's going on," said Chiesa. "You should never wire or send money anywhere unless you're absolutely sure about where it's going."

For more information or if you think you've been the victim of a scam, visit www.njconsumeraffairs.gov or call 1-800-242-5846.