DANDRIDGE, Tenn. (WATE) — The United States Postal Service is going to honor an East Tennessee postal worker with an award for going above and beyond her regular duties.

The Postal Service will be presenting Katrenia Foster, who works in Dandridge, with the prestigious Postmaster General Hero Award Friday morning.

Foster has been a postal worker for 17 years. She was behind the front desk last month when an older lady came in and wanted to send a personal item by Priority Mail Express.

“She was hesitant about sending it, she didn’t know whether she should or not. I started inquiring what she wanted to do and what she was sending,” Foster said.

In the envelope was a check, but the customer did not say how much.

“I went through the whole process of processing the Express. I just couldn’t send it because I just knew something was up. At that point, I talked with the postmaster and said, I think I might need your assistance and get over to this customer to help me that this might be a potential scam,” Foster said.

At most post offices, like in Dandridge, postmasters update their employees regularly about potential scams. With Foster by his side, her customer told postmaster Jeff Gambrell why she was mailing the envelope.

“She has won some money and she had to send them money to receive her money. Like I told her, as Katrenia told her, you don’t have to pay when you win a free prize,” Gambrell said.

“She had the scammer on her phone, it was in her coat and in her pocket. Now this scammer was calling her ‘mother,’ ‘mom.’ So he was trying to be her best buddy and friend to potentially take every dime that she had,” Foster said.

The postmaster asked his customer if he could talk to the guy.

“So, I got on the phone and said, ‘Can I ask you why, why she is sending you this money?’ He replied back saying, ‘Her son had bought some car parts off me.’ At that point the story had changed, the customer realized the story had changed, she looked at me and said no, we got off the phone,” Gambrell said.

The flat rate for mailing an express envelope is nearly $29.

“It’s not a cheap product. But it’s a product that is guaranteed overnight. So if you need to get something quickly to someone, that is the way to do it,” Gambrell said. “[The scammer] would have had that money within 24 hours.”

The check was never sent, thanks to an alert and concerned postal worker.

“It’s part of our job. I hold a special place in my heart for the elderly. I don’t want to get upset, but it really bothers me that they try to take advantage of our customers,” Foster said.

Foster will receive the postmaster general’s hero award in Dandridge Friday at 8 a.m. For the Jefferson County community, it is the first time that honor is going to one of its postal employees.

Remember, if you have been told you have won a car or money, you do not have to send money to collect your winnings. The federal government will take care of that.