In Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, a grandfather was almost scammed out of $12,000. Luckily, a concerned UPS store owner prevented it from happening.
When Clyde Blount entered the UPS store, its owner, Julie Osborne, immediately noticed “something off” when she saw him holding a thick envelope.
“I could tell that there was more in the envelope than just documents. It looked like cash,” Julie recalled.
The 92-year-old was persistent and told her that it needed to get to New Jersey as soon as possible.
“He really just said, ‘Can we just please send the package. I really just want to send this package,'” Julie said.
Turns out, a scammer researched Clyde’s family and fooled him into sending money by creating an intricate story.
Earlier, he received a call from a man who pretended to be his grandson, Jeremy, saying he was in jail for drunk driving and getting into a car accident.
“He said he hit his face on the steering wheel, so talking funny,” Clyde said.
The crook said he needed $12,000 of bail money to be sent to an attorney’s office.
When Julie told the grandpa that the address wasn’t an attorney’s office but an apartment building, he was confused.
“I could see that didn’t make sense to him,” Julie said.
So, she searched for Jeremy on social media and managed to get him on the phone.
“I was very much relieved,” said Clyde when he heard his grandson’s voice.
“To know that they came after a family member, it was pretty personal,” Jeremy said.
Clyde’s family is grateful to Julie for recognizing the red flags and doing everything she could to keep him from committing a huge mistake.
“Knowing that there’s people like Julie out here who are standing up for the vulnerable, I love it,” Jeremy said.
Julie also gave Clyde some advice on avoiding scams: “If there’s any question, find out the answer before you do anything.”
Seniors are often the target of fraud, with many tricksters taking advantage of their advanced age and love for family.
Here are a few things you can do to avoid this scam.
- Adjust the privacy settings of your social media accounts so that only the people you trust can access your posts and photos. Scammers often stalk unprotected accounts to gather information on your family so they can fabricate a story and make it seem more believable.
- Hang up the phone immediately and call your family member to check if they are safe.
- Don’t rely on caller ID. Swindlers can easily spoof phone numbers to make it appear as if they’re calling from a law enforcement agency or police department.
- Don’t panic. The goal of a con artist is to upset the victim and distract them from recognizing the scam.
The video below from WGAL TV explains this story in more detail.
Earlier this year, another senior was targeted by a scam in Long Island, New York. But this time, the supposed-to-be victim got the fraudster arrested.
Luckily for Jean Ebbert, 73, the knowledge she gained through her years of working as a 911 dispatcher helped her easily identify a scam.
She was texting with her son when a person claiming to be her grandson called her. The man said he was arrested for DUI and was in jail.
Jean didn’t have a grandson old enough to drive, so she immediately realized that she was being conned.
After about 15 back and forth phone calls, Jean had convinced the scammer to visit her address to get the money. Little did he know that she had other plans.
When the caller got to her house, police officers were waiting for him, and he was arrested on the spot!
Click here to read the full story.
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