Two Target employees were recognized this week by Stow Police in Northeast Ohio on a Facebook post for preventing an elderly couple from being scammed out of thousands of dollars.
Authorities said that the couple walked into the store while taking a phone call and then purchased $2,000 worth of gift cards after they hung up. The employees, Amy Waffen and Alyssa Denson, thought something was fishy about it and notified police.
It turns out the couple had just come from another Target location an hour earlier where they purchased $5,000 worth of gift cards. Authorities determined that the couple were targeted in a scam. Target also voided the transaction to keep the couple from losing money.
“The Stow Police Department encourages our citizens and businesses to alert the police to this type of suspicious activity. If you have any suspicion, you are probably correct. Help us prevent further people from losing their hard-earned money. Way to go Amy and Alyssa!”
As a reminder, Stow police said to keep the following red flags in mind to avoid being scammed:
- Demanding payment for "delinquent" accounts, IRS taxes and utilities by asking you to purchase gift cards for payment.
- Someone trying to scare you (threatening jail time for you or a family member if you do not pay).
- A money request or phone call coming from someone you don't know or have never met in person.
- Something sounds too good to be true (i.e.; winning the lottery, inheritance, being offered a reward for a large sum of money).
- Being asked to buy something in advance by sending a wire transfer or being pressured to buy something quickly before you can discuss the matter with a family member.
- Being asked personal information such as social security number, bank account numbers, log in IDs and passwords.
Any Stow resident with questions or who thinks they are being scammed can call the department’s non-emergency number at 330-689-5700 and ask to speak with an officer.
This story was originally published by Drew Scofield on WEWS.