DELAND, FL – In a new twist on a common crime, scam artists are now sending Uber drivers or other couriers straight to their victims’ homes to pick up thousands of dollars in cash. The Volusia Sheriff’s Office has seen three similar cases over the past month, and a fourth was recently reported to the Ormond Beach Police Department.
In one case, surveillance video captured footage of a suspect. In the video, an Uber driver can be seen arriving at a drop-off site in Orlando, where he handed off $17,500 of a 78-year-old DeLand woman’s money to the unidentified suspect. The Uber driver has been extremely cooperative with detectives and is not charged with any crime.
Today, Sheriff Mike Chitwood announced a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect seen arriving and leaving on foot in the video.
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These scams are the same ones the Sheriff’s Office has been warning about recently: A caller calls the victim out of the blue, claiming a family member (often a grandson) was just in a crash, was just arrested, or is in some kind of legal trouble, and needs thousands of dollars fast. Sometimes a second caller might get on the phone posing as an attorney, a law enforcement officer or some other official. The victims, generally senior citizens, give in to pressure, agree to withdraw cash, and hand over the money to a driver who shows up at their home.
The Volusia Sheriff’s Office is asking residents to share this information with friends and family, especially those who are older and may be susceptible to falling victim. Anyone who recognizes the suspect in this video, is asked to call 386-254-1537 to identify him and potentially qualify for a $25,000 reward. Those who wish to stay anonymous can contact Crime Stoppers of Northeast Florida at 888-277-TIPS or via the P3 Tips app to potentially qualify for a reward of up to $5,000.