Crime & Public Safety

Beaufort area woman sent $11,500 in cash but nephew says envelope was empty, report says

A Beaufort area woman recently told police she attempted to send $11,500 in cash to her nephew in New Jersey, but when he received the package, the envelope was empty, according to a Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office report.

Sheriff’s Office Maj. Bob Bromage said Tuesday the case is still under investigation.

The money was to help her nephew purchase a vehicle, the report said. She provided police with a receipt from CPM Federal Credit Union showing the withdrawal of the money.

“She advised that she has done this in the past and has not ever had any problems,” the report said.

The owner of the business told police it is against UPS policy to ship cash.

“Bank bills, notes or currency (other than coin)“ are listed on the UPS website as prohibited items to ship.

Other prohibited items include ammunition, fireworks, shark fins, watches exceeding the value of $500, industrial diamonds and marijuana, including marijuana intended for medicinal use.

“(The owner) stated he was eager “to get to the bottom of this,’” the report said.

Two employees at the UPS store on Lady’s Island told police they remember the woman visiting the business on March 29 . Each said the woman mentioned she was shipping jewelry.

A manager of the store said she printed the shipping label, weighed the package and placed it in an overnight envelope.

The United States Federal Trade Commission sent out a warning about sending cash in the mail in December. It notes the department has seen an increase in scammers asking for cash.

“Never, ever send cash by mail,” the warning says., a website focused on finance issues, warns people sending cash, “run the risk of having someone other than the intended recipient taking the cash, but there’s no paper trail to prove what was in the envelope.

The website states better options include sending a check, wiring money or electronic payment apps such as Paypal, Venmo and Cashapp.