A quick-thinking CVS store clerk saved an elderly woman from being ripped off for more than $3,000 after realizing she was probably being scammed.
The incident took place around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 20, when the Clarkstown Police Department responded to the New City CVS about a possible scam, said Clarkstown Police Det. Peter Walker.
According to Walker, the clerk working at the cash register was approached by an elderly female who wanted to purchase over $3,000 worth of gift cards, he said.
The 49-year old female employee remembered that a Clarkstown Community Policing Officer had just briefed her and fellow employees about ongoing scams that target elderly people to purchase large dollar amounts of gift cards to pay off scammers, he said.
"The sharp thinking employee immediately contacted the Clarkstown Police to respond," Walker said.
The 72-year-old female victim from Pomona said she got a phone call at approximately 12:30 p.m. from a man named Johnson claiming to be an agent with the Social Security Administration, Walker said.
The man told the woman she was a victim of a money laundering scam and that she needed to purchase gift cards because her Visa card was going to be canceled.
He instructed her to go immediately and buy the gift cards. The suspect was calling the victim while she was at the store. As soon as our officer got on the phone the suspect hung up, Walker said.
"Thankfully the system worked in this case but this issue requires continuing awareness, Walker said. "On behalf of the entire Clarkstown Police Department, we thank the employees of CVS for their outstanding efforts."
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