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80-year-old woman saved from 30-thousand dollar shipping scam

The FBI warns online dating sites are also hotbeds for scams. Photo: Shutterstock

MESQUITE, NV — Police are praising a business for saving a woman from being bilked out of a $30,000 shipping scam.

Mesquite Business Center owners Pat and Suzy Galliher say an elderly woman came in requesting to overnight two magazines to Jamaica, New York, and left the store.

Suzy, who was conducting the transaction, said the package didn’t feel right.  It was too bulky.  Plus, the magazines were out of date and she thought it was strange they should be sent overnight for a $60 fee.

She and her husband Pat inspected the magazines and found $30,000 taped to the pages in the form of 100 dollar bills.

They called the Mesquite Police Department who sent an officer to woman’s home.  While there, the scammer called the woman again.  That’s when police got on the phone with the man who then denied knowing anything that was going on.

Officers were finally able to convince the 80-year old she’d been scammed.  She returned to the Mesquite Business Center where Pat not only returned her $30,000 but also her $60 shipping fee since they never sent the package.

But, this isn’t the first time the Gallihers prevented someone from being scammed.

Pat said several weeks ago a young woman came into the store asking to ship an iPhone.  During his conversation with her, she said she would get paid for it via PayPal after she gave the buyer the tracking number.

Pat told her that isn’t how PayPal works.  Payment is always immediate and if someone says they’ll send you payment after proof of shipping, it’s always a scam.

“The girl didn’t believe me” Pat said.  So, he said he would not ship the package until she called him to say the payment was made into her PayPal account.

Pat said the woman called him the next day to say the buyer ‘ghosted’ her after she gave him the tracking number.  She returned to the store to retrieve the iPhone which was never mailed.

 

“It all comes down to people watching out for each other, particularly the elderly, and being decent human beings.” Galliher says.  “This is something he and Suzy take very seriously, as does their staff,” he added.

They have training on a regular basis to spot scams where people are asked to send gift cards, phones and cash through the mail.  Galliher wants people to know that no government agency or police will ever ask you to pay them in this manner.  If someone does, call the police immediately.