When Kroger cashier Shelly Yost noticed an elderly woman attempting to purchase $2,000 worth of iTunes gift cards, she smelled a rat (video below).
When Yost asked her why she was buying so many cards, the woman said she needed to buy them to bail her granddaughter out of jail, reports Little Things.
Fortunately for the woman, it was a scam that Yost was familiar with. The Federal Trade Commission explains:
One thing we know about scammers -- they want money, and they want it fast. That’s why, whatever the con they’re running, they usually ask people to pay a certain way. They want to make it easy for themselves to get the money -- and nearly impossible for you to get it back.
Their latest method? iTunes gift cards. To convince you to pay, they might pretend to be with the IRS and say you’ll be arrested if you don’t pay back taxes right now. Or pose as a family member or online love interest who needs your help fast. But as soon as you put money on a card and share the code with them, the money’s gone for good.
If you’re not shopping at the iTunes store, you shouldn’t be paying with an iTunes gift card, the FTC warns.
Shelley Yost assured her elderly customer that her granddaughter was fine and that she was being scammed.
The woman didn’t believe her, so Yost stalled the woman until police could arrive to give her an authoritative explanation and calm her down.
The assisted living facility where the woman lived was grateful for Yost’s intervention.
As the cashier explained, “The next day, they showed up, and they were the most genuine people ... They hugged me so tight and thanked me over and over. And they handed me a card, which I took and said ‘Thank you.’ When I opened it later, there was super-nice gift in there.”
If you get targeted by a scam like this, report it to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.