Quick-thinking UPS store owner helps 92-year-old man avoid losing $12K to ‘grandparent’ scam

A grandfather in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania was almost robbed of $12,000. Fortunately, an concerned UPS store owner stopped this 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.

Clyde Blount, a grandfather from Pennsylvania who almost got scammed out of $12,000

The 92 year old was persistent and insisted that she get it to New Jersey as soon he could.

“He really just said, ‘Can we just please send the package. I really just want to send this package,’” Julie said.

A UPS envelope

Turns out, a scammer researched Clyde’s family and fooled him into sending money by creating an intricate story.

A call came earlier from a man claiming to be his grandson, Jeremy. The man claimed that Jeremy was in jail for drunk driving, and getting into a crash.

“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.

Jeremy, Clyde Blount's grandson
Jeremy | YouTube

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 on social media for Jeremy to reach her and finally got 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.

Julie Osborne, the UPS store owner who saved Clyde Blount from being scammed

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 targets of fraud. Many tricksters take advantage of their advanced age, love for their families, and love for them.

Clyde Blount and Julie Osborne in the UPS store

Here are some tips to avoid this scam.

  1. You can adjust the privacy settings on your social media accounts to restrict access to photos and posts to only those you trust. Scammers are known to stalk accounts that are not protected in order for them to collect information on your family and fabricate stories to make it seem more plausible.
  2. Call your family member immediately to confirm that they are safe and then hang up the telephone.
  3. 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.
  4. Don’t panic. A con artist’s goal is to distract victims from the scam and upset them.

This story is explained in greater detail in the video below by WGAL TV.

A scam was perpetrated in Long Island, New York, earlier this year against another senior. This time, however, the fraudster was arrested.

Jean Ebbert, now 73, was able to identify a scam thanks to the knowledge she gained from her years as a 911 dispatcher.

When she was texting her son, a man claiming to be her grandson called her. The man claimed that he was in jail after being arrested for DUI.

Jean didn’t have a grandson old enough to drive, so she immediately realized that she was being conned.

Jean convinced the conman to visit her home to collect the money after about 15 phone calls. He didn’t know she had other plans.

Police officers were waiting at her house when the caller arrived, and he was taken into custody immediately!

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