Lebanon shopkeeper helps man avoid losing $12,000 to scammers

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A Lebanon County man didn’t lose thousands of dollars cheating on his grandparents because a shopkeeper thought quickly. “When Clyde walked in, something was wrong,” said UPS store owner Julie Osborne. Clyde Blount had a thick envelope when he entered Osborne’s shop in Lebanon. “I could tell that the envelope contained more than just documents. It looked like cash,” Osborne said. Blount was adamant, saying the envelope needed to get to New Jersey as soon as possible. “All he really said was, ‘Can we please just send the package. I really just want to send this package,'” Osborne told Story. The scammer pretended to be Blount’s grandson, Jeremy, and claimed he was in jail after driving drunk and being involved in a car accident, requiring more than $12,000 bail to be sent to an attorney at Ney’s office. “When I told Clyde that it wasn’t a law firm but an apartment building, I could see that didn’t make sense to him,” Osborne said. Osborne found Jeremy on social media and was able to reach him on the phone. “He’s upset. He’s trying to understand what’s going on,” Jeremy Blount said. When Clyde Blount heard his grandson’s voice, “I was very relieved,” he said he.”Knowing they were after a family member was quite personal,” Jeremy told Blount. The Blount family is grateful Osborne spotted the red flags to save him from a costly mistake, according to a message Osborne taught Clyde Blount: “If there are any questions, find out the answer before you do anything,” he said. Some tips to avoid this scam: Adjust the privacy settings of all social media accounts so that only people you access your posts and photos Even if the fraudulent caller tells you not to, hang up immediately Call the grandchild or other family member to make sure that it is safe. Don’t believe what you see on the caller ID. Scammers can easily spoof phone numbers to make it appear that their call is from a police department or law enforcement agency. No panic. Easier said than done, but the goal of this scam is to anger the victim enough to distract them from detecting the scam.

A Lebanon County man didn’t lose thousands of dollars cheating on his grandparents because a shopkeeper thought quickly.

“When Clyde walked in, something was wrong,” said UPS store owner Julie Osborne.

Clyde Blount had a thick envelope when he entered Osborne’s shop in Lebanon.

“I could see that there were more than just documents in the envelope. It looked like cash,” Osborne said.

Blount was adamant, saying the envelope had to get to New Jersey as soon as possible.

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

Blount was shaken by a call he received from a scammer who was researching his family and making up a complicated story.

The con artist pretended to be Blount’s grandson, Jeremy, and claimed he was in jail after driving drunk and being involved in a car accident.

“He said he hit his face on the steering wheel so he’s talking funny,” Blount said.

The scammer asked for more than $12,000 in bail to be sent to a law firm.

“When I told Clyde it wasn’t a law firm but an apartment building, I could see that didn’t make sense to him,” Osborne said.

Osborne found Jeremy on social media and was able to reach him by phone.

“He’s upset. He’s trying to understand what’s going on,” said Jeremy Blount.

When Clyde Blount heard his grandson’s voice, “I was very relieved,” he said.

“Knowing they were after a family member was pretty personal,” said Jeremy Blount.

The Blount family is grateful that Osborne recognized the red flags to save him from a costly mistake.

“It pleases me to know that there are people like Julie out here who are standing up for the weak,” said Jeremy Blount.

And the message Osborne taught Clyde Blount: “If there are any questions, find out the answer before you do anything,” he said.

How to avoid grandparent scams

The grandparent scam targets seniors and tries to take advantage of their love for their family.

Here are a few tips to avoid this scam:

  • Adjust the privacy settings of all social media accounts so only people you know can access your posts and photos. Scammers skim unprotected accounts to gather names and information about your family to make their scam call more credible.
  • Even if the fraudulent caller tells you not to do this, hang up immediately. Call the grandchild or other family member to make sure they are safe.
  • Don’t believe what you see on the caller ID. Scammers can easily spoof phone numbers to make it appear that their call is from a police department or law enforcement agency.
  • No panic. Easier said than done, but the goal of this scam is to upset the victim enough to distract them from detecting the scam.
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