In a high-tech version of the increasingly prevalent "Grandma Scam," scammers use the Facebook social networking site to identify grandparents of members of the military.
They then call the grandparent and pose as the grandchild, saying that they are returning home from duty and want to surprise their parents.
The scammer then claims that he needs money wired to him because his friend's car broke down. If the grandparent agrees, the money is wired directly to the scammer.
"The targets here are being doubly victimized," said Sgt. Lyn Tomioka, public affairs officer for the SFPD. "They believe their grandchild is coming home from war and they are having their money taken from them under false pretenses."
Tomioka said the FBI informed her while the scam has cropped up across the country, there have been no reported cases in San Francisco.
In a statement to the press, local law enforcement officials advised citizens to be wary if they receive such a call and always to verify the request for money directly with the person on behalf of whom the call is made.
Bay City News contributed to this report.