A Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, man didn’t lose thousands of dollars to the grandparent scam because of the quick thinking of a store owner.”There was something off when Clyde came in,” The UPS store owner Julie Osborne said.Clyde Blount had a thick envelope as he walked into Osborne’s store in Lebanon.”I could tell that there was more in the envelope than just documents. It looked like cash,” Osborne said.Blount was persistent, saying the envelope needed to get to New Jersey as soon as possible.”He really just said, ‘Can we just please send the package. I really just want to send this package,'” Osborne said.Blount was shaken by a call he had received from a scammer who researched his family and created an intricate story.The scammer pretended to be Blount’s grandson, Jeremy, claiming he was in jail after driving drunk and getting into a car accident.”He said he hit his face on the steering wheel, so talking funny,” Blount said.The scammer demanded more than $12,000 of bail money be sent to an attorney’s office.”When I told Clyde it wasn’t an attorney’s office, this was an apartment building, I could see that didn’t make sense to him,” Osborne said.Osborne found Jeremy on social media and was able to get him on the phone. When Clyde Blount heard his grandson’s voice, “I was very much relieved,” he said.”To know that they came after a family member, it was pretty personal,” Jeremy Blount said.The Blount family is thankful Osborne recognized the red flags to keep him from making a costly mistake.”Knowing that there’s people like Julie out here who are standing up for the vulnerable, I love it,” Jeremy Blount said.And the message Osborne taught Clyde Blount: “If there’s any question, find out the answer before you do anything,” he said.How to avoid the grandparent scamThe grandparent scam targets seniors and tries to take advantage of their love for their family.Here are a few tips to avoid this scam:Adjust the privacy settings on any social media accounts so only people you know can access your posts and photos. Scammers skim through unprotected accounts to gather names and information on your family to make their scam call more believable.Even though the scam caller will tell you not to do this, hang up the phone immediately. Call the grandchild or another family member to make sure they’re safe.Don’t believe what you see on caller ID. Scammers can easily spoof phone numbers to make it appear their call is coming from a police department or law enforcement agency.Don’t panic. That’s easier said than done, but the goal of this scam is to get the victim so upset that they are distracted from recognizing the scam.

A Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, man didn’t lose thousands of dollars to the grandparent scam because of the quick thinking of a store owner.

“There was something off when Clyde came in,” The UPS store owner Julie Osborne said.

Clyde Blount had a thick envelope as he walked into Osborne’s store in Lebanon.

“I could tell that there was more in the envelope than just documents. It looked like cash,” Osborne said.

Blount was persistent, saying the envelope needed to get to New Jersey as soon as possible.

“He really just said, ‘Can we just please send the package. I really just want to send this package,'” Osborne said.

Blount was shaken by a call he had received from a scammer who researched his family and created an intricate story.

The scammer pretended to be Blount’s grandson, Jeremy, claiming he was in jail after driving drunk and getting into a car accident.

“He said he hit his face on the steering wheel, so talking funny,” Blount said.

The scammer demanded more than $12,000 of bail money be sent to an attorney’s office.

“When I told Clyde it wasn’t an attorney’s office, this was an apartment building, I could see that didn’t make sense to him,” Osborne said.

Osborne found Jeremy on social media and was able to get him on the phone.

When Clyde Blount heard his grandson’s voice, “I was very much relieved,” he said.

“To know that they came after a family member, it was pretty personal,” Jeremy Blount said.

The Blount family is thankful Osborne recognized the red flags to keep him from making a costly mistake.

“Knowing that there’s people like Julie out here who are standing up for the vulnerable, I love it,” Jeremy Blount said.

And the message Osborne taught Clyde Blount: “If there’s any question, find out the answer before you do anything,” he said.

How to avoid the grandparent scam

The grandparent scam targets seniors and tries to take advantage of their love for their family.

Here are a few tips to avoid this scam:

  • Adjust the privacy settings on any social media accounts so only people you know can access your posts and photos. Scammers skim through unprotected accounts to gather names and information on your family to make their scam call more believable.
  • Even though the scam caller will tell you not to do this, hang up the phone immediately. Call the grandchild or another family member to make sure they’re safe.
  • Don’t believe what you see on caller ID. Scammers can easily spoof phone numbers to make it appear their call is coming from a police department or law enforcement agency.
  • Don’t panic. That’s easier said than done, but the goal of this scam is to get the victim so upset that they are distracted from recognizing the scam.



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