UPS intercepts cash sent by elderly Kittitas County resident who was scammed

Phone Scam - Washington’s Lottery, Kittitas County, Yakima County
Phone Call From Unknown Number Late At Night. Scam, Fraud Or Phishing With Smartphone Concept. Prank Caller, Scammer Or Stranger. Man Answering To Incoming Call.

ELLENSBURG, Wash. — People are being scammed through various methods deployed across the United States and in your neighborhood. A senior citizen from Kittitas County was recently the victim of one such scheme which was foiled thanks to a security team working for multi-national shipping business UPS.

According to an alert issued by the Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office, UPS Security services in Rhode Island detected something suspicious when a Kittitas County resident shipped a package containing thousands of dollars in cash.

When contacted by local deputies, the senior citizen quickly realized that they had been the victim of a phone scam. Authorities described the scam as a common plot in which ‘bail money’ is demanded to help a young relative in a distant place.

RELATED: ‘They prey on fight or flight’ — Impersonation scams on the rise in Tri-Cities, says HAPO

More often than not, the victim never sees that money again. but in this case, all of the cash was returned to its original sender.

The Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office highlighted how scams against the elderly often go undetected because they’re either never reported (the victim doesn’t realize they have been scammed) or because they are too embarrassed to go to the authorities. In other cases, criminals will use intimidation tactics to keep the sender quiet.

These elaborate schemes come in many forms including phone calls, the internet, and in some situations, from people they already know and trust.

READ: Yakima-based ‘contractor’ arrested in sting operation for alleged scams throughout WA

To prevent this from happening to other people in their community, the Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office offered the following five tips to prevent fraud against a loved one:

  1. CHECK IN REGULARLY: Talk with your older adult often, and talk explicitly about finances so you can recognize when something unusual is up.
  2. BE AWARE OF COMMON ELDER FRAUDS AND SCAMS: A good place to start is the National Council on Aging at ncoa.org/article/top-10-financial-scams-targeting-seniors
  3. ASK THEM TO CHECK WITH A TRUSTED INDIVIDUAL: Encourage them to always check with you or another trusted person before giving out any personal or financial information.
  4. REMOVE THEIR NAME FROM CALL LISTS: Help your older adult sign up for the National Do Not Call registry at 1-888-382-1222 to reduce unwanted calls.
  5. KEEP LEARNING: As a watchdog for your older adult, check available resources like Fraud.org regularly to learn about trends.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of a fraudulent scheme, don’t hesitate to contact your local authorities to report the incident.

RECENT HEADLINES FROM THE KAPP-KVEW NEWS STAFF:

READ: Richland citizens targeted by phone scam, RPD warns