Roscoe store owner stops scammers from preying on senior citizens

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — A Stateline business owner stopped a customer from losing thousands of dollars to scammers. The owner says this isn’t the first time he’s had to step in. The ‘good Samaritan’ says the victims all have something in common-they’re seniors.

“I just kept telling him I can’t do this because I’m not going to see you give up $9,000,” explained Marshall Barkley, the owner of Roscoe Pack & Mail.

“He explained the situation that this individual had called him and it was over a TV warranty,” Barkley added. “It looked like they transferred $9,000 in there and they told him they needed that money back, so he went and withdrew that money.”

Then he brought that money to Barkley to be shipped.

“I asked what the contents were of the package…he was an elderly gentleman, and he put his head down and at that point, I knew right away that he was being scammed,” Barkley explained.

Barkley says he knows that con artists can be tricky.

“A lot of these scammers they specifically ask for a specific carrier because of their tracking mechanisms, so that when the package arrives they can be there to meet the driver to receive it,” he explained.

The scammer went to the extent of telling the man what to say.

“The person on the other line told him if we ask the question on what’s in there and where it’s going is to tell them he was sending it to his uncle,” Barkley said.

According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), the targets of scammers are often over the age of 65.

“You consider that the scammers are frankly professionals at this and when they make those phone calls they’ll talk to the individual and while you can’t determine the person’s actual age, you can surmise in many cases,” explained Dennis Horton, the director at the BBB’s Rockford Regional Office.

Roscoe Police say to look for the warning signs.

“If it sounds too good to be true call the police department call FedEx because it seems that’s their favorite drop off point,” explained Roscoe Police Corporal William Weston.

Barkley has stopped four incidents this year so far.

“In the last week, just in two situations, we’ve been able to stop close to $24,000 going out,” he said

A few rule of thumbs could save your pocketbook big.

“Do not ship cash. Anytime, anybody asks you to ship cash, I don’t care who it is, never ship cash,” Barkley reiterated.

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