Grand Junction Store Worker Saves Elderly Woman From Costly Scam
A costly scam attempt in Grand Junction has been thwarted, thanks to an alert grocery store employee.
It is not uncommon for scammers to use threats and intimidation in order to coerce their victims into handing over large amounts of cash. Often times it is the elderly who are most vulnerable and susceptible to these fraudulent schemes and it's happening right here in Grand Junction.
Elderly Woman Threatened and Intimidated
The Grand Junction Police Department says an 81-yar-old woman in Grand Junction received a call from an individual pretending to be in law enforcement, providing a fake case and badge number. The man told the woman her social security number had been compromised and that she was being investigated for fraud.
The woman was instructed to withdraw all the money from her bank account and purchase gift cards. If she failed to comply, the woman was told she would be arrested within 24 hours. The GJPD says the woman set out to follow the instructions because she was "scared, rattled, and intimidated."
The woman went to Safeway to purchase the gift cards as she had been instructed but was stopped from making the purchase by a store employee who suspected fraud. Rather than selling her the gift cards, the employee - who was not identified -instructed the woman to call the police.
Local Retailers Have Been Warned
This scam attempt was foiled in large part because the GJPD has been warning local businesses about schemes exactly like this one. In recent weeks they have delivered signs to be posted on gift card displays that warn customers of gift card scams.
It may be hard to believe, but scams like this are oftentimes successful - and you can see why. Threats and intimidation are powerful weapons. Although this could happen to anybody, the elderly are most often targeted - and they can end up losing hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
Warn Your Elderly Family Members About Scams
In this case, an alert store employee saved this person from financial loss - but the next victim might not be so fortunate. The GJPD is encouraging everyone with elderly family members to talk to them about scams like this and warn them of the dire consequences. Instruct your elderly parent or family member to talk to you immediately if they have been threatened in any way - before they empty their bank account.