JOHNSTOWN, N.Y. (NEWS10) — On Tuesday, the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office got word of a 72-year-old man who lost over $25,000 in a phone scam.

Police say the fraud victim received a phone call from a man saying he worked for the federal government. The scammer said he was investigating the victim for a money-laundering and identity theft case.

The scammer said the victim’s social security number had been stolen, that the victim had pay for a new one, and that he needed to pay to “rectify the damage,” according to police accounts of the grift.

The 72-year-old man mailed three cash payments via FedEx and UPS to addresses in Texas and New Jersey. UPS flagged the third payment, and the sheriff’s office investigated. Ultimately, the scope of the scame was revealed, and the money returned to the victim.

The Fulton County Sheriff’s office says to contact law enforcement before ever making a payment in response to this type of call. Government agencies send written invoices through the mail, and will virtually never call to ask for any sort of payment via mail, gift card, or any other means.