Kroger cashier Shelly Yost was suspicious when an elderly woman tried to buy $2,000 worth of iTunes gift cards. So she asked her why she was buying so many.
The woman replied that her granddaughter was in trouble. Apparently, someone had called the grandmother and said her granddaughter was injured and in jail. And in order to get her out, she would have to buy all these gift cards and give them to the police.
“She was so worried and so scared,” Yost said.
But Yost knew a scam when she saw one. And she wasn’t going to let scammers take advantage of the sweet grandma.
She said, “I asked her if she would please wait and let me call the Sylvania police so they could tell her that they would never accept gift cards as payment for somebody in jail. I didn’t want her to go somewhere else.”
Sure enough, the cops showed up at Kroger and confirmed that it was a scam. They even called the woman’s family to ensure the granddaughter was fine. So thankfully, the woman was able to avoid any further trouble.
Unfortunately, not all elderly people are so lucky. Scammers have been focusing on iTunes gift cards because they’re popular, easy to get, and virtually untraceable–so easy to sell on the black market. That’s why it’s important to be sure the older folks in your life are in the know.
As Yost said, “She was vulnerable and someone was taking advantage of that and I couldn’t feel okay with myself just saying, ‘I’m doing my job and that’s it.'”