US store clerk recognises woman being scammed, intervenes


While she was on the phone with the conman and preparing to check out, the clerk wrote, ‘Are you being scammed?’ on a piece of paper. — Photo by Simon Kadula on Unsplash

A woman was talked into giving her bank account information to someone pretending to be from an electronics store, a scam that was discovered after a metro Detroit store clerk paused her effort to buy gift cards.

The attempted scam of the Downriver woman was a duplicitous two-step effort, with the scammer acting as if he was helping prevent a scam.

The incident was reported on May 4 when police were dispatched to a house in the 2800 block of West Jefferson in Trenton.

Upon their arrival, the woman told police she received an email from an individual who said he was a member of the “Geek Squad” from Best Buy, a company she has used in the past.

She called a number that was in the email and spoke with an unknown man who told her she was being scammed.

The man said someone was trying to take US$649 out of her account.

She said she gave him her bank account information because he sounded so convincing.

The man appeared to have put about US$6,499 in her account.

When the woman questioned the man, he told her it was a mistake and he needed her to get the money back to him in gift cards.

She told police she went to CVS in Trenton and was going to buy US$500 gift cards.

While she was on the phone with the conman and preparing to check out, the clerk wrote, “Are you being scammed?” on a piece of paper.

The woman nodded her head affirming that she believes she is being scammed and the clerk told her to hang up her phone.

According to the woman, the man tried calling her back a few times, but the clerk told her to ignore the phone calls.

The woman checked her account and said there was US$400 that had been withdrawn as a Western Union transaction.

She tried to stop the transaction and was told by a Western Union employee that the money had not gone through.

Realising that she had been scammed, she contacted her bank and changed bank accounts along with the bank placing a hold on the US$400 transaction.

A freeze also was put on her credit and she is changing her email address. – Daily Tribune, Royal Oak, Mich./Tribune News Service

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