MORRISON, Colo. (CBS4) – A couple hoping to pay for their dream home with the money they earned from a family heirloom almost lost the ring to an online scam. But the story doesn’t end there. FedEx was able to intercept the package overseas and bring it back to Colorado in time for the holidays.
“We thought it would be delivered any minute and changes are they would not be able to stop it,” said Alexandra Schlereth, ring owner.
Schlereth received the ring as a gift from her late mother-in-law. She and her husband decided to sell it because they knew she would understand the meaning of using the earnings from that sale for their future house. It only added to the devastation when they realized the buyer on eBay was never going to pay them for the ring but had already convinced them to ship it to an address in London.
Hours before it was set to arrive in the United Kingdom, FedEx got the request to return the package and investigate the incident. The delivery did not get out of customs and the fraudulent buyer wanted the Schlereths to pay for the cost to cover the expense. She told them she would look into it while she was working with the delivery service to get it back to the U.S.
“If I get a shipping number, when I get a shipping number, I will feel comfortable.”
The process was tedious and for almost two weeks the couple was riding a roller coaster of emotions worried the ring was lost but also hopeful it may come home. The original package arrived on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving. Her mother was home at the time to receive it.
“She sent a text message and I just fell incredible relief, through my hands up, celebrated at work,” said Schlereth. “An enormous sense of relief.”
Her mother left the package unopened so she could see for herself when she got home.
“It was amazing, opened the little jewelry box, and it was just an incredible moment,” said Schlereth. “I felt gratitude that everything worked out.”
The couple then started to think about what they should do with the ring back in their possession. They were torn between keeping it after almost losing it or continuing with their goal of using the money to help finance their home.
“Is this a sign of some sort?” said Schlereth. “I think it was something that we went through, a struggle, perhaps we experienced it this way so we’re less likely to fall for something like this in the future.”
The couple even thought about selling another ring to get the money they needed when they thought the first ring was gone. Schlereth proudly wore the second ring when talking to CBS4 on Thursday, the original ring remains in a safe place. Both rings belonged to her mother-in-law.
“Let’s keep going down this path, because this is what we need to do to make this happen,” she said.
She eventually told the person pretending to be a buyer that she knew this was a scam. It remains an important lesson for her family and one she hopes others take away from the experience.
“If something feels odd to you, if something is trying to rush you to make a decision, pressure you, listen to yourself,” she said. “You’re going to know what’s right and what’s wrong.”
When Schlereth reported the ring as a stolen item she started to reconsider how easily she can trust others, she remains cautious but is grateful of how this story ended and hope it can inspire anyone who hears about it.
“Keep hope alive because even when things seem like there’s no way they’re going to work out, they do, sometimes,” she said.