EASTLAKE, Ohio--An 84-year-old Eastlake man got back more than $5,000 he sent to someone who scammed him, thanks to an alert UPS employee, police said.
Eastlake Police Detective Ted Kroczak said the scam started with a phone call to the elderly man.
"They're actually identifying themselves as federal agents," Kroczak said.
Kroczak said the convincing scammer told the man he was to get more than $500,000, but first he had to pay the 1% tax on it: $5,250 in cash.
Kroczak said the man sent the money via UPS to a Miami address.
"It's very unusual to recover money whether it's send by check, credit card or cash itself," Kroczak said.
However, an alert UPS employee became suspicious of the package and called law enforcement.
"The investigators felt it wasn't part of a narcotics transaction or anything like that. It was being shipped out of state. They felt it was possibly part of a scam," Kroczak said.
Officers went to the elderly man's home Tuesday and confirmed it was his money, and yes, he was the victim of a scam, Kroczak said.
"He came to the police department and he recovered the money. We actually gave him the money back. He was actually very happy to get the money back," Kroczak said.
The officers were happy to return it, which is something they don't get to do much in these types of cases.
Kroczak said the scams are becoming more common, and many people fall for them.
"They are sending you merchandise to draw you into the scams themselves," Kroczak said.
He said con artists may even send gifts.
Bottom line: “If they are asking you to pay any time of money, ask credit card information, ask personal information, send a check, never do it. Never do it," Kroczak said.