A Holtsville woman was nearly robbed of $8,400 after she mailed money to a phone scammer who convinced her that her grandson needed medical care, police said. A Suffolk police officer’s call to FedEx on Thursday interrupted delivery 15 minutes before it was due in the suspect’s hands.
The 85-year-old victim’s money was being returned to her after the overnight carrier canceled the delivery, Fifth Squad detectives said, adding that they are searching for the person who contacted the victim and launched the nearly successful scam.
“When you receive a phone call asking for money, particularly cash or money orders to be sent via the mail, or asking for personal information, it’s a scam,” said Suffolk County Police Commissioner Timothy D. Sini in a news release. “These scams target senior citizens so it’s important that you warn family and friends and educate them.”
Police said the woman received a call on Wednesday alerting her that her grandson needed money for medical care, so she withdrew $8,400 from an account and shipped it off through FedEx that day.
But the woman contacted her nephew after sending the parcel — and learned that he was fine — so she dialed 911 on Thursday and spoke with Fifth Precinct Officer Kristofer Albrecht.
Albrecht reached out to FedEx, and learned that the package was 15 minutes away from its destination, police said, and FedEx canceled the delivery.
Police said the investigation into the incident is continuing. They urge anyone with information on the case to call the Fifth Squad at 631-854-8852 or, anonymously, to Crime Stoppers at 800-220-TIPS.
Police also said that information on scams can be found on their website at www.suffolkpd.org