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UPPER DARBY, Pa. (CBS) — Police in Upper Darby have uncovered a scam that targets seniors, involving vacant homes and cash deliveries. Police believe those behind it could be stealing money from victims all over the country.
Police have discovered victims in a least three states that fell for the same telephone scam, and they believe many more seniors may also have fallen for it.
Police arrested 38-year-old Richard Otoo at a vacant home at 429 Woodcliff Road on Saturday. Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood believes Otoo is part of a sophisticated telephone scam.
“The people who are being scammed get a call from somebody who pretends to be a DEA agent and they’ll talk about their grandson, their son, their daughter being arrested for drugs and they’re currently in jail and they’re in bail and they need $6,000, $8,000, $10,000 for bail money,” explained Chitwood.
Upper Darby Police discovered the scam after getting a call from New York State Police, notifying them of a victim who shipped cash to the Woodcliff Road address, and asking Upper Darby Police to see who picked it up.
“Sure enough, the package is delivered by a FedEx driver,” said Chitwood.
Otoo was arrested after he arrived to pick up the package containing $6,000.
“Subsequently, we search his house and inside his house are three FedEx envelopes — one contains $9,500, the other contains $9,500 and the third one contains $9,000, so that’s $28,000, plus the $6,000, so we got $34,000 that we recovered,” said Chitwood.
Chitwood believes this investigation could reveal many victims of the same scam.
“Hopefully we can get to the bottom of this ring, which I believe is very sophisticated,” said Chitwood.
As a result of the investigation, police believe at least $400,000 has been sent to various locations in Upper Darby since July. If you or anyone you know may have fallen victim to this scam, contact police at 610-734-7693.