Mail scammers steal $85,000 from Kentucky senior citizens

Published: Sep. 18, 2019 at 8:01 PM EDT
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Attorney General Andy Beshear issued a scam alert to warn of an increase of mail scams targeting senior citizens.

Beshear said in a release, seniors in Boone, Franklin and Greenup counties sent $85,000 in cash to scammers posing as a computer repair technician, a family member in jail and a government official awarding grants.

The scammers told each victim to send $30,000, $29,000, and $26,000 in cash using FedEx, UPS and United States Postal Service.

Two other potential victims in Harlan and Jefferson counties reported that a scammer claimed to be a family member who needed help after a car wreck.

Beshear's office worked with a UPS employee in Ashland to recover one package with $6,000 in cash for one of the victims in Greenup County.

“With more mail scams targeting seniors, it’s a good time to remind Kentuckians to take the time to call and visit your elderly friends and family and talk about scams and how to avoid them, especially making sure they know never to send money,” Beshear said. “As we continue to review these complaints, we want to thank the UPS employee in Ashland who had concerns about that victim’s package and flagged it for security.”

Here are some tips Kentuckians need to know to avoid mail scams:

-Never provide personal or financial information to an unverified, untrusted person.

-Be wary of deals that sound too good to be true.

-Never send upfront fees using wire transfer, gift cards or cash.

-Don’t feel scared or pressured to act. Take your time and verify.

“Under the right conditions, anyone could fall for a scam," Postal Inspector Kyle Erhardt said. "But, if you follow a few practical steps, including using caution if you are directed to act quickly when remitting payment or are pressured to be discreet about your financial transactions, you can limit your exposure to fraud victimization and stay financially safe.”

Erhardt says anyone who feels they have been victimized to report it immediately to USPIS hotline at 1-877-876-2455 or go to their website