KITTITAS COUNTY, Wash. —
Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office received a call from UPS Security in Rhode Island recently saying it had found a package with thousands of dollars in cash sent by an elderly person in Kittitas County.
Upon deputy interview, it was reportedly discovered that the sender was the victim of a phone scam, asking for “bail money” for a supposed distant younger relative.
Through these measures, the money was apprehended and returned to the scam victim.
“Sadly, many scams and frauds against the elderly go undetected—adding up to billions of dollars each year,” said the KCSO press release. “Many such cases are never even reported—either because the elderly victim doesn’t know they’ve been scammed or because they’re embarrassed at having been victimized. Criminal scammers may also use intimidation tactics or threats to keep victims quiet.”
KCSO recommends that families keep in touch with elderly relatives and check on them to defend them from fraud. This includes specifically bringing up their finances to be sure nothing unusual is occurring. Encourage them to check with someone they trust before they send any money or personal information.
Be aware of common frauds and scams by looking at what is reported. The National Council on Aging has a list of popular scams and many scam alerts are shared online. Fraud.org shares trends that arise regarding scams.
It may also be beneficial to add your elderly relatives to the National Do Not Call Registry at 1-888-382-1222.