Owensville police, UPS investigators recover resident’s $18,000 cash nearly swindled in Virginia ‘FBI arrest’ scam

By Dave Marner, Managing Editor
Posted 3/11/20

Owensville police with help from United Parcel Service (UPS) investigators in Richmond, Va., managed to intercept a box of $18,000 in cash shipped overnight to a scammer who threatened an elderly …

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Owensville police, UPS investigators recover resident’s $18,000 cash nearly swindled in Virginia ‘FBI arrest’ scam

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Owensville police with help from United Parcel Service (UPS) investigators in Richmond, Va., managed to intercept a box of $18,000 in cash shipped overnight to a scammer who threatened an elderly local woman with arrest on bogus federal charges if she didn’t send them money.

Owensville Det. Rob Green, the victim and her son-in-law, traveled to Union Tuesday morning to retrieve the box of cash which had been rerouted back from Virginia over the weekend to Union. City Marshal Robert Rickerd said there were some anxious moments since Saturday before police received a call Tuesday saying the package had been located and was heading back to Missouri.

“We got the money back,” said Rickerd shortly after 10 a.m. Tuesday after receiving confirmation from his detective. “That’s good news. She was happy.”

Green was sent to Union with the family to escort them and the woman’s savings back to town safely.

Rickerd said the woman was instructed to send $18,000 in cash overnight via UPS to an address in Richmond. If she failed to send the money, she was told the Federal Bureau of Investigations would arrest her and charge her with criminal conduct. The money would clear her of the charges, she told police she was assured.

That address turned out to be bogus, said Rickerd.

The package was initially shipped from Washington, Mo.,  and the woman was told to tell UPS personnel if they asked that she was shipping a vase.

When police learned the woman’s family’s fears that she being scammed, Rickerd said police immediately thought, “let’s get see if we can cut this off right now.”

“It got cut off just before it was about to be delivered to the scammer,” said Rickerd.

The woman’s daughter was able to get the shipment stopped, said Rickerd.

With assistance from UPS investigators, Rickerd said a delivery hold was put on the package on Saturday afternoon and it was being routed back to Missouri. Rickerd said the anxious moments came when, over the weekend and into Monday, no one knew exactly where the box was in the return shipping process.

“We called the UPS supervisor from Union who tracked it and found it was on a truck this morning,” said Rickerd. “He was going to pull it. It was a mess but we got it back. We just lucked out.”

Rickerd said they plan to forward their final report to Virginia state police to see if there are any potential charges on their end.

“She’s was really shaken up,” said Rickerd of the woman, 79. “She was real excited to be getting her money back in the bank.”

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