Package stopped en route to scammer but $9,000 missing when it's returned to Michigan woman

By Larry Spruill - Reporter

LIVINGSTON COUNTY, Mich. - A 76-year-old lost $9,000 after falling victim to a manipulating scam phone call on Sept. 20.

"As soon as I fall asleep, this goes through my head," JoAnn Barnard said. "It was a child calling me. He said, 'Do you know who this is, Grandma?' I said, 'Yeah, it's William.' He said, 'Yeah, you're right.'"

She said the scammer asked her for money.

Barnard said she went to the bank, took out the money and followed the directions the scammer had given her. She was told to go to the post office and get an envelope and a box.

"Put the money in the envelope but you have to put it in magazines, because it'll slide all over the place. Put the money in a box and take it to the FedEx store," Barnard said the scammer told her.

She said she called her daughter later that night to ask if her grandson was OK and learned that the family was at a football game, watching her grandson be crowned homecoming king. Barnard said she knew then that she had been scammed.

Her daughter called police and asked FedEx to stop the delivery. The package was returned to Michigan, but Barnard said the money wasn't inside the package. For the last few weeks, she has been in touch with police and the shipping company to find out what happened to the money, she said.

"Make sure you're talking to who you think you are. Don't just hastily send money off," Barnard said.

Local 4 contacted the Livingston County Sheriff's Office and FedEx. FedEx said there's an ongoing internal investigation being conducted.

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