Cumberland County grandparents have lost thousands of dollars to a telephone scam involving people imitating grandchildren to get money, police said Friday.

The scam varies. Sometimes the callers resemble grandchildren and claim they need bail money or have lost wallets. Other times they have said that they are attorneys representing grandchildren who need money, Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office officials said.

“This particular scam is an attempt to take advantage of the fact that a grandparent will do virtually anything to help their grandchild,” officials said. “The caller always portrays a sense of urgency.”

In many cases the callers have done research on the families targeted, enough to sound convincing, officials said.

Anyone who gets a scam call should avoid divulging personal information, asking instead for a callback number. Contacting actual grandchildren is also advised, officials said.

Anyone looking to report a scam call or seeking other information can call 207-744-1444.