Lebanon, PA

Store owner helps elderly man avoid losing $12,000: "He came in shaking and distressed"

Amy Christie

On seeing a 92-year-old man's shipping request, a UPS store owner quickly recognized the signs of a scam and acted quickly to prevent any losses.

Julie Osborne called one of his relatives and saved him from giving up $12,000.

What are the details?

Julie owns a UPS store in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, with her husband David, and they've been running it for over a decade.

Even though she didn't know him personally, Julie figured out that Clyde Blount, 92, was about to get scammed as soon as he gave her a very thick envelope.

"We were doing our normal day. Clyde requested to ship something. I started asking questions when he came in shaking and distressed," Julie shared with The Epoch Times.

As she began trying to find out more, Julie noticed that Clyde barely told her anything useful. Then he said that the package was meant for overnight delivery and it had to get to its destination at 8 a.m. However, he told her it was a document, so she knew something was wrong.

The elderly man gave her a New Jersey address, and the recipient was his grandson, Jeremy. Still, the grandson lived in York, Pennsylvania, so it didn't add up.

When Julie tried to find out why Clyde wanted the envelope shipped overnight, he didn't offer any explanation.

"I had my members Google that address on another computer while I was talking with Clyde. He said, 'This is my grandson's attorney's office,' and I said, 'No, it's not an attorney's office; it's an apartment building.' He paused and started looking confused," Julie recalls.

After that, the woman said they should call Jeremy to confirm everything was okay, but Clyde became nervous and even offered her $100 to just process his request quickly.

Luckily, she had seen all this happen before.

"They call these elderly people early in the morning, so they're usually disoriented. They get a call from somebody who is pretending to be an attorney, and they'll say things like, 'I'm here with your grandson … he's been involved in an accident. He's been hurt, and he's been arrested.'" Julie said.

The elderly relative will be pressed to pay the money fast and say nothing to anyone.

Clyde was also convinced he's talked on the phone with Jeremy. The person on the line explained the unfamiliar tone of voice by pretending he'd been injured.

So, the elderly man was very worried that Jeremy would end up behind bars and lose his construction company. The man calling him pretended a pregnant woman had got hurt, so that was weighing on his mind too.

Julie didn't give up, though. She wasn't about to let him hand over his money like that.

She searched for Clyde's grandson on social media and sent him a message titled "a problem with your grandfather, Clyde." Within minutes, Jeremy was on the phone and could speak to his worried grandfather.

"Clyde just sat there, shook his head, and listened. He kept saying, 'Okay, okay,' and then they hung up. The last thing he said, 'I understand now, that wasn't Jeremy,'" Julie recalls.

Clyde and his family later met up with Julie and David to say thank you for the good deed, and the grandfather brought her a poem he'd written himself.

"I wish I could tell you this is the first time it's happened; it's probably the twelfth time. Sadly, this is familiar in the shipping business. We're very alert. When seniors come in and start dropping the keywords, we ask more questions; it's usually an elderly person, stressed or upset; they always ask for the eight o'clock delivery, and they tell us it's a document, a book, or a magazine, but it's thicker than a typical document," Julie explained.

Even though he was initially embarrassed about what happened, Clyde decided to come forward and report what took place so he could prevent other people from giving away hard-earned money.

"I think after he thought about it, he felt it was very important to share what happened so that people wouldn't fall for it," Julie concluded.




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Amy Christie is a passionate writer and journalist, always striving to bring out the positive and create meaningful connections.

Dallas, TX

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