With grandparents in mind, Sen.-elect Blumenthal takes on phone scammers

Along with educating consumers and taking aim at the scammers, Blumenthal pledged to bring wire services under greater scrutiny. There might be new ways they can notify consumers of the ways they can be swindled, his staff said.

"Money wire companies must do more to protect people, particularly senior citizens, from these crimes," he said. "I urge Western Union and Money Gram to bolster its consumer education and warnings at every location — specifically by identifying red flags and questioning consumers before they wire large sums of money overseas."

He also released advice for consumers on how to avoid these scams. Measures include verifying the caller's identity through personal questions, resisting the pressure to act and contacting the person's family to confirm the story.

It's not the first time Blumenthal has taken on a consumer issue linked to the communications industry. He is leading a coalition of attorneys general who want more answers from Google on a major privacy breach. He also strongly criticized Craigslist for its "adult services" ad listings, which he said abetted child prostitution.