North Carolina social security scam victim has $25,000 returned months later


PINETOPS, N.C. (WNCN) – An elderly person in Edgecombe County who fell victim to a social security scam had $25,000 recovered, Pinetops Police Chief Stacy Harrell said.

In mid-October, the elderly victim received a phone call from someone claiming to be an agent with the Social Security Administration. The so-called agent said the victim’s social security number had been compromised and that $25,000 would need to be sent to correct it.

The scammer said the victim would be arrest for not complying, Harrell said in a news release.

The victim was instructed on how to box up the cash. It was sent to a UPS store in Lauderhill, Florida, the release said.

After the money was shipped off, the victim’s family learned what happened and contacted Pinetops police. Investigators learned the scammers were verifying every move the package was making and was close to picking it up. They contacted local police who were able to coordinate seizing the package, the release said.

The $25,000 in cash was converted to a check, then returned to the victim on Wednesday, police said.

“The scammers use a methodical approach to these crimes in which the package will be transferred throughout multiple courier services. Most packages will ultimately be shipped abroad to a foreign country,” the release said.

While the tale had a happy ending, Harrell issued a warning to help prevent others from falling for similar scams.

  • These types of scams do occur locally.
  • The government will never ask you to send cash in this manner.
  • Do not give anyone your information.
  • If you have a question, hang up on the person and call your local law enforcement agency.
  • Look up the number of the actual agency that claims to have called you and deal with them directly.

“We were able to recover the money in this case, which is not common,” Harrell wrote.

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