BRISTOL, R.I. (WPRI) — A Dorchester man was arrested Wednesday after police said he attempted to scam a Tennessee woman out of thousands of dollars.
According to Rhode Island State Police, Julio Feliciano called the 85-year-old woman and told her he was an attorney.
Feliciano told her that her grandson was recently arrested and she needed to send a package containing $5,200 in $100 bills to a person whose address was listed as the UPS store in Bristol, according to police.
Police said when the package arrived, the manager of the store was suspicious and contacted the woman directly. After the woman told her what happened, the manager reported the suspected scam to RI State Police.
Feliciano, 31, was arrested when he arrived at the store to pick up the package. He is being charged with attempted larceny over $1,500 and conspiracy.
RI State Police Colonel James Manni said this is another example of scam artists targeting a vulnerable population.
Manni is reminding senior citizens to be wary of scammers seeking money by telephone or through online solicitations:
- Beware of any urgent request for money, especially if the caller claims to need it for unexpected bills, such as bail money, lawyer’s fees or medical bills.
- Don’t send any money without contacting the person directly or another relative to verify the request for help, and only use a phone number that you know belongs to that person.
- Beware of requests to send money via a wire transfer, mailing cash or sending money orders or gift cards to people you don’t know.
- Be skeptical of late-night calls and callers who ask you not to tell anyone about their requests for money. These are classic tactics used in telephone scams.
- Never provide your private information, such as your Social Security number, bank account or birth date, to anyone who contacts you unsolicited.