Imagine what you would do if you received a phone call that a supposed loved one was in an emergency and desperately needed money.
It is a line that has been repeated nationwide, but oftentimes the person on the other end of the call is not a relative at all.
Eleanor Reimer says, “I got a phone call from someone who said he was my grandson, sounded exactly like him and said he was in Mexico and had some trouble and needed some money.”
So, Eleanor went to the post office with $5800 in cash. She prepared an express mail envelope and the postal worker at the counter gave her advice.
“He looked at me, you make sure you call before you send this.“
Eleanor tried to call her family but didn't get an answer. Because time, she was told, was of the essence, she sent the package.
U.S. Postal Inspector Michelle Brooks says, “The victim was very sweet and worried about her grandson’s well-being and making sure he got home safely.”
It turns out that wasn't the case at all. Hours later, Eleanor learned her grandson was not in trouble.
"I felt like I was a real idiot when I found out."
So, Eleanor went to the police. U.S. Postal Inspectors used her tracking number and were able to intercept the package before delivery.
Brooks says, “We were glad to help her get the money back.”
But Eleanor's good fortune comes with a warning from Brooks, " Before you send any cash to anyone make sure you verify the story. Assume it is a scam until you know better.”
In fact, if someone is asking for a large amounts of cash to be sent in the mail there is a good chance it is not the real deal.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Also in the headlines
With power out and the threat of more bad weather on the way, first responders in Lincoln County say they'll use police and fire sirens to warn residents of severe weather.