When he helped stop an elderly man from being scammed out of thousands of dollars, one man’s gut instinct proved to be correct. Anyone can become a victim of a scam, but it appears that scammers frequently target the elderly population. Fortunately, as this story demonstrates, there are still plenty of good people out there who want to ensure that this does not occur.
Myro Kuzmyn was at his UPS store in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, working the front desk. An elderly man came into the store and requested that a package containing documents be shipped. Kuzmyn sensed something was wrong right away. The package was too small to fit the reported documents, and when he asked the man, who was estimated to be in his 80s, if he knew the person he was sending the package to, he hesitated. “It just didn’t seem very natural to me,” Kuzmyn said. “The entire process and the conversation that we had, something just did not seem right, and my gut instinct was telling me to look into it a little bit more.”
Kuzmyn asked the elderly man more questions and then he decided to call the police. After some investigation, the police discovered that the elderly man was about to send $4,000 to a person posing as a lawyer from another state. He claimed he needed the money to bail a family member out of jail when he called the man. He also told his intended recipient not to tell anyone else about the money.
“It is rewarding to share the story so that hopefully nobody else gets into this type of scam, and at the end of the day, it’s humbling, because this could be my grandparents,” Kuzmyn said. His action and decision to trust his instincts saved the man from losing the money.
These types of scams, according to Capt. Tyler Chandler of the Mt. Juliet Police Department, occurs far too frequently. Particularly during the holiday season, and especially with the elderly. “Of course, a man at this age, he wanted to help a family member and immediately wanted to send the cash. Luckily, Myro stepped in and prevented the elderly gentleman from becoming a victim,” the Captain said.
The Emergency or Grandparent Scam is a term used by authorities to describe this scam. It usually starts with a phone call from a “friend” or “family member” who creates a highly dramatic situation that requires immediate action. These fictional incidents frequently occur in another country and necessitate the victim sending money.
Not everyone is in a position to assist someone who is going through something similar. This story does, however, emphasize the importance of having such conversations with aging parents or grandparents and explaining the existence of these scams. Remind those you care about that if they receive a call like this, they should hang up and try calling the family member directly. And, even if a situation appears to be dire at times, try not to react without all of the facts.
The most important thing is to be kind to people and be ready to help. God puts people in our lives so that we can have an impact on them. While we may not get involved in many such cases, being kind and polite to others will go a long way.