DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said scam artists are using Uber drivers and other couriers to collect thousands of dollars in cash from unsuspecting victims, generally senior citizens, who are told they need to pay a large sum of money to help a loved one get out of trouble.
Chitwood on Thursday released video of a man and an Uber driver at a drop-off site in Orlando after the driver accepted $17,500 from a 78-year-old DeLand woman who was told a family member was either in a crash, arrested or in some kind of legal trouble. Chitwood said oftentimes a second caller will follow up with the victim, posing as an attorney or law enforcement officer.
The victims agree to withdraw cash and hand it over to a driver who shows up at their home, Chitwood said.
Volusia sheriff’s officials said it appears the Uber driver was unwittingly involved, is cooperating with authorities and does not face any charges,
Over the past month, Chitwood said his agency has investigated three similar cases and another one was recently reported to the Ormond Beach Police Department.
Chitwood announced a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the man walking away in the video below.
Sick of seeing senior citizens lose their savings to scumbag scam artists! I'll pay $25K for info leading to conviction of this suspect who picked up a 78-year-old woman's $17,500 from an @Uber courier.— Mike Chitwood (@SheriffChitwood) April 8, 2021
We have other victims, 76 & 81. Thread from my office @VolusiaSheriff: https://t.co/cUZlcs0Uo2
“Sick of seeing senior citizens lose their savings to scumbag scam artists!” Chitwood tweeted. “These scams have been going on for years, but the Uber/courier aspect is new. In the past, scammers relied on victims buying gift cards and providing the gift card numbers over the phone. Now, they will send someone right to your grandmother’s door to take her money.”
Anyone who recognizes the man walking away in this video below is asked to call 386-254-1537 to potentially qualify for the reward.