MISSOULA, Mont. -

A telephone scam aimed at seniors has bilked an elderly Lolo woman out of several thousand dollars. The Missoula County Sheriff's Department said a man claiming to be the woman's grandson called and told her he was in a Canada jail, and needed $9,000 for bail.

Investigators said another scammer, claiming to be an Ontario Sheriff's officer, got on the phone and confirmed the story.

Sheriff's officers said they told the woman to wire the money in two increments of $4,500 each, the first to the Dominican Republic.

InvestIgators said scammers break up the transactions to keep the money from being flagged.

They said the woman thought better of sending the second increment and contacted law enforcement. But they said it's unlikely her money can be retrieved.

"The suspects in these type of cases are typically in other countries, sometimes without extradition laws," said Missoula County Sheriff's Deputy Jason Johnson. "They're using fake names," he said, "and phone numbers are usually to a contract phone that can be thrown away."