By Todd Magel
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WINTERSET, Iowa (KCCI) — A quick-witted store clerk in Winterset saved an older customer from a costly phone scam.
And now the police want to warn you.
“It was a typical scam that we hear too often,” said Winterset Police Chief Ken Burk.
Burk says an 85-year-old Dollar General store shopper is lucky. She came on Monday to buy a $500 gift card. But she was on the phone during her visit and it was suspicious. Turns out there was a bad guy on the other end of the line.
“They actually asked him not to tell anyone you’re on the phone, to hide your phone while you’re in the store, not to let them know you’re on the phone because what’s going on is is that employees see that,” Burk said.
“She looked really worried,” said Allysa Taylor, Dollar General store manager.
Taylor is the quick-witted clerk who saw it.
“I asked her if it was for someone on the phone and she whispered yes. And I said do you know that person, and she said no, but I’m not supposed to tell you that,” he said. Taylor said.
According to the police, the victim had been on the phone with the scammer for two hours. He told her she needed to send him $500 to collect a $2.5 million prize. Taylor picked up the client’s phone and he hung up. Burk eventually called the crooked caller, who answered.
“You are cheating old people. Isn’t that shit? Burk said.
And the scam caller replied, “They’re going to die with the money and their son and daughter will just take the money…and take drugs. We need it to build a house and take care of our family.
Burk was shocked by this response.
“Unbelievable that they say something like that and can be so cold and callous to people losing their hard-earned money,” Burk said.
Burk praised Taylor.
“She did a great thing. She’s definitely a hero to us,” Burk said.
Taylor says it’s part of the job.
“It finally turned out that my training was necessary. And I’m grateful that I was able to help her, she said.
According to the police, the caller was probably overseas. They say never give money to a caller who wants you to pay to collect an alleged prize.
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