FAIRBORN — Officials at the Fairborn Post Office have seen at least three individuals fall victim to postal scams within the past month. They hope to raise awareness of such to prevent heartbreaking outcomes from taking place.
“If we can save one person from sending their life savings to some idiot, then it’s worth it,” Lead Sales and Service Associate Scott Swan of the Fairborn Post Office said. “If we have three that we know about, how many more do we not know about?”
Swan is unaware of how scammers obtain the contact information of potential victims, but he said they tend to target the elderly population. After he sees individuals stop by the post office two-to-three times within a short period of time, overnighting or express mailing large amounts of money through checks or money orders, his suspicions begin to raise.
“We try to talk to them and be friendly and helpful, and explain to them that if they’re paying someone because someone said they owed them money to please be cautious,” he said. “If you’re scared or anything, come see us. We’ll help you.”
Scammers may call their victims posing as individuals who work for the IRS, scaring them into believing that they are in some sort of trouble until they send money. However, Swan said the IRS wouldn’t call someone if they owe money, as it would instead send something to the individual via certified mail.
Scammers may also target their victims by having them believe they won a prize, but must first send a large amount of money for shipping and/or taxes in order to receive it. However, Swan said if an individual has won something, they wouldn’t have to pay for it first.
“Family members with elderly parents or grandparents, especially if they’re in their late-70s to mid-80s, you need to be checking on your people,” he said. “Make sure they’re not getting bogus stuff in their email, make sure they know if someone calls and asks for money that they don’t give them any money, don’t give credit card information over the phone, don’t put your credit card or bank information online … — always check with someone else first to make sure it’s okay.”
Whitney Vickers can be reached by calling her directly at 937-502-4532, or by following her on Twitter by searching for @wnvickers. For more content online, visit our website or like our Facebook page.