Galveston postal workers stop 90-year-old man from sending last of savings to scammer

GALVESTON, TX (KTRK) -- Quick-thinking postal employees are being credited with stopping a scam and saving an elderly Galveston man thousands of dollars.

We've all heard of the lottery scam, but its latest victim was saved from sending his last dime to the suspected con artist by three postal workers in Galveston. The most remarkable part is something that rarely happens: the alleged scammer got caught.

Whenever an elderly customer wants to send thousands of dollars to a stranger with a post office money order, the clerks get suspicious.

That was the case for Post Office worker Mike Hogan back in November.

"I know that he was spending a lot of money and it just didn't feel right to me," said Hogan.

Hogan says the 90-year-old customer insisted on sending thousands of dollars to a man in Florida to pay for insurance on lottery winnings. So Hogan grabbed his supervisor, Debra Ward, who was not going to let the customer send money to anyone.

"I tried to talk to him and he really wanted to send the money but I just would not let him," said Ward.

Ward contacted her boss who then got the post office in Florida, where the scammer lived, to pull the video surveillance tapes and then handed the images over to Galveston Police and Sergeant Jeremy Kylen.

"Normally these scammers are pretty good at covering their tracks. They you know, in a lot of cases I work, it leads to rabbit holes, to dead ends, to fake ID's. So in the this case it is really rewarding to be able to put somebody in jail," said Sgt. Kylen.

Officers say Jade Pitter is now facing fraud charges. Arresting an alleged scammer almost never happens, and officers say it would not have on this case if not for the Galveston postal employees who knew something wasn't right.

"He said that was the last money he had in the bank and he had to take care of his wife. So I am just glad I stopped it," said Ward.

The victim did send several thousand dollars to the alleged scammer before the postal workers stepped in.

This is National Consumer Protection Week, and if you think someone you know might be involved in a scam but cannot convince them, call the Texas Attorney General's Office at 800-252-8011 for help. null
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