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Scammers Hire Uber Drivers to Pick-up Cash from Victims; Sheriff Chitwood Offers Reward.

Thu, Apr 08, 2021 at 3:50PM

Written by Kristen Schmutz

Belden Communications News



Scam artists are putting a new twist on a common crime by sending Uber drivers or other couriers straight to victims' homes, picking up thousands of dollars in cash.

According to a release, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office has seen three similar cases over the past month, and a fourth was reported to the Ormond Beach Police Department

One case had surveillance video footage of a suspect. In the video, an Uber driver arrives 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. 

According to the Sheriff’s Office, the Uber driver has been cooperative with detectives and has not been charged with any crime.

Sheriff Mike Chitwood announced Thursday a $25,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect seen arriving/leaving on foot in the video, which can be viewed here.

These scams are the same ones the Sheriff’s Office has been warning about recently, where a victim receives a call 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 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 recognizing the suspect in this video is urged 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.

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