HARTFORD, Wis. – When a senior tried to send money to a box in New York City, Jodi Groonwald, owner of Hartford’s Pack & Ship and More, raised red flags and helped put a stop to it. a scheme.
“With every customer, I ask them anything illegal, dangerous, dangerous or forbidden? I ask them what’s in the box? Is it flimsy or breakable? And he doesn’t wanted to answer any of those questions,” Groonwald said.
Groonwald knew something was wrong when the old man walked in and was reluctant to answer basic questions about who he was sending his box to and why.
“I looked at the name of the person it was going to and said, ‘Well, what is it here that he needs so fast? Because he insisted on it happening overnight without a signature,” she said.
“And again, he didn’t answer the question.
She trusted her intuition and kept the package. After the man left, she called the Hartford Police Department, and it’s a good thing she did because the package contained $12,000 in cash.
Hartford Patrol Officer Cory Whipple attended to the elder’s home.
“He was adamant he wasn’t scammed,” Whipple said. “It was ‘100% I need to send this money.’ So I asked him why and he realized that in the past two months his computer had been hacked.”
We choose not to name the senior who was targeted to protect their privacy. Whipple says the man told her that a bank had mistakenly put $12,000 in her account and she now wanted that money back.
So he told the officer that he had to give that exact amount overnight to a man in New York to have his computer fixed. According to Constable Whipple, others have also succumbed to this type of scheme.
“We learned from FedEx that other packages had been sent to the same address in New York,” he said.
As for who was behind this scheme, the police believe a false name was used, so tracking down the culprit is not that easy.
“They stay in these houses for a few days, get a few packages, and then they move to another address.”
The $12,000 from the box was returned to the man thanks to Jodi Groonwald. Turns out, this isn’t the first time Groonwald has spotted a scam like this.
“If someone did that to someone in my family, I would be very angry. And so I’m just trying to be careful of someone,” Groonwald said.
Hartford police credit her for acting quickly and saving the man from huge financial loss. They call Groonwald a hero.
“I don’t see him as a hero. I see him as doing the right thing,” she said.
Hartford Police worked with FedEx and flagged the New York address, so future packages to that location would be closely inspected. But as Officer Whipple explained, these scammers tend to be on the move. So with some extra help, in this case, Groonwald can prevent a scheme from happening in the first place.
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