ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — A Roscoe shipping store owner intercepted a fraudulent money transfer last year, and says he’s seen multiple customers nearly fall victim to scams.
Marshall Barkley owns Roscoe Pack and Mail, at 5062 Rockrose Ct, says yesterday someone posed as an officer from the Milwaukee Police Department and told an elderly couple from Beloit that their granddaughter was being detained because she was involved in illegal activity.
The fraudster asked for $8,000 in cash for her release.
The concerned couple tried to wire the money at Barkley’s shop, but he said he realized something wasn’t right.
“I went to the back. I opened it up and it was a magazine and it was completely full of $100 bills. It was a total of $8,000 they were shipping,” he said.
Barkley said he stopped the couple from sending the cash and called the police.
In the past year, he said someone tried wiring $9,000 in a scam.
Dennis Horton of the Better Business Bureau, says that scam is known as “The Grandparent’s Scam,” and says the criminals are professionals who hunt for those who will provide them with sensitive personal information that can be used against them.
“Or they don’t use a name at all, they simply say, ‘hi, this is your grandson or granddaughter who is calling, and you, ‘oh hello, Johnny,’ how are ya? And they say, ‘oh I’m fine.’ Well, you’ve already given them the name of your grandchild,” Horton warns.
Horton says if you receive a phone call from an unrecognized number, don’t engage with the caller.
Scams can be reported to the BBB’s Scam Tracker service, which are reported weekly to local police.
Roscoe Police Chief Jamie Evans said authorities get reports of scams all the time, and believes training could help cut down on the number of victims.
“I think we need more people like the Pack and Mail, more companies like that, to do a training for [other businesses] to educate their employees [on what to look for],” she said.