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Thu Nov 15, 2012, 11:56 PM

Grocery store employee's persistence saves elderly woman from scam

Source: KCTV

An Overland Park Hy-Vee employee saw through the scam and persuaded the woman not to send money to a con artist.

"When I heard her story I thought, ‘No way, this is too familiar,'" Austin Ramirez said.

Ramirez was working the customer service desk at the Hy-Vee at 135th Street and Antioch Road when an 88-year-old woman came in. She said she needed to send $1,900 to the Philippines because her grandson had been in some kind of an accident.

"I started asking questions like, ‘Ma'am, I don't want to be rude, but are you sure? Do you know your grandson is overseas?' She said, ‘Well I think so,'" Ramirez recalled.

Read more: http://www.kctv5.com/story/20112915/grocery-store-employee-goes-above-and-beyond-to-stop-elderly-woman-from-scam

29 replies, 5574 views

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Arrow 29 replies Author Time Post
Reply Grocery store employee's persistence saves elderly woman from scam (Original post)
pstokely Nov 2012 OP
freshwest Nov 2012 #1
CaliforniaPeggy Nov 2012 #2
MADem Nov 2012 #3
mzteaze Nov 2012 #4
Historic NY Nov 2012 #5
Scootaloo Nov 2012 #7
Indpndnt Nov 2012 #8
Ned_Devine Nov 2012 #6
Bombero1956 Nov 2012 #9
jmowreader Nov 2012 #10
rustysgurl Nov 2012 #11
deurbano Nov 2012 #12
pstokely Nov 2012 #14
Art_from_Ark Nov 2012 #16
xxqqqzme Nov 2012 #18
GoCubsGo Nov 2012 #21
Iwillnevergiveup Nov 2012 #13
Dash87 Nov 2012 #23
womanofthehills Nov 2012 #15
funkhowser1 Nov 2012 #17
CBHagman Nov 2012 #20
GTurck Nov 2012 #19
dembotoz Nov 2012 #22
Ash_F Nov 2012 #24
RebelOne Nov 2012 #25
BeyondGeography Nov 2012 #26
PotatoChip Nov 2012 #27
lifesbeautifulmagic Nov 2012 #28
AnneD Nov 2012 #29

Response to pstokely (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:03 AM

1. Good man.

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Response to pstokely (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:10 AM

2. He really went above and beyond what was expected. Good for him!

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Response to pstokely (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:10 AM

3. WOW. What a good guy. nt

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Response to pstokely (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:11 AM

4. Wow...

So glad to hear of this. It was the kind thing to do.

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Response to pstokely (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:14 AM

5. Maybe its time for a flooding of PSA's to get old people to pay attention.

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Response to Historic NY (Reply #5)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:27 AM

7. I think that's rather inappropriate

The fact is, a large proportion of people at that age are vulnerable to scams, and it's through no fault of their own. I hesitate to use words like "addled" or "confused," but the truth is just that they make easy marks because of the conditions age often brings with it.

Maybe it's time for a flood of alertness on our part to protect our elders from scams and con-men.

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Response to Historic NY (Reply #5)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:31 AM

8. Now there's a good idea.

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Response to pstokely (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:21 AM

6. this happened to my grandmother two years ago

someone called pretending to be me and said I had gotten into some trouble in Canada and needed money sent right away. She almost went through with it but didn't in the end

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Response to pstokely (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:47 AM

9. somebody is pulling a simular scam in this area

They're calling a family claiming a loved one has been kidnapped and asking for money to be wired to secure their release. A family nearby sent $2,000 to Puerto Rico to free a family member or they would be killed. It turned out the family member was out of town and in no danger.

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Response to pstokely (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:01 AM

10. Someone tried that shit on my mom

Said he was her grandson and had been in an acvident.

My mom doesn't have any grandsons.

She hung up on the asshole hard enough the cheap-ass phone she had broke. Good thing they have two.

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Response to pstokely (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:01 AM

11. Right Down The Street From Me

I wouldn't expect less from a HyVee employee. They are great at customer service, and truly look out for their customers. It's where I shop and will continue to do so. Sooo glad this employee was persistent and saved this woman and her money. These scammers are lower than low, preying on the elderly.

HyVee - their sayings in their ads are 'I'm a friendly smile'. In this case it was oh, so true.

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Response to pstokely (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:28 AM

12. My mom...

My mom called me a couple of weeks ago, and was trying to ask (without asking) how my son was doing. She finally said, “I shouldn’t ask this, but I’m just going to come out and say it: Have you seen him today? Is he okay?” After assuring her he was fine, I started asking HER questions to get to the bottom of the (weird) situation… and she finally revealed she was getting ready to leave for her bank to withdraw $15,000 to send to some guy at the American Embassy in Mexico City. He had called that morning to say my son had won a trip to Mexico... and had flown down there with a friend (unbeknownst to his father and me, since he had supposedly told us he was staying at the friend’s house)… and the friend was driving with him in Mexico, and got in a wreck with another car (it was the friend’s fault)... and a passenger in the other car (from some prominent British family) was in the hospital, not expected to live…so my son was in jail (can’t remember why HE would be in jail-- maybe they had pot, too, or something).. and the embassy guy wanted to help out since he knew my son was a good kid and had just fallen in with a bad influence… so he needed $15,000 for a lawyer to make the whole situation go away and to get rid of any criminal record for my son… and he had already negotiated the price down from $25,000 since he liked my son so much… and some person pretending to be my son (maybe the same guy using a different voice) begged my mom not to tell my husband and me, and said he admired her so much and she was his favorite grandmother (and he kept coughing so it was difficult to hear his voice clearly)… and the embassy guy said she shouldn’t call us (the parents) because they were keeping this top secret, so my son didn’t get a criminal record… etc., etc.. And my mom was actually almost out the door, but thought MAYBE she should check with me first, just to make sure!!!

$15,000!!!! And my son is only 14! (Obviously, this scam is supposed to be targeting a grandparent with a grandchild a few years older than my son…) Does she really think we would let our 14-year-old go off with a friend for days at a time?! (And this was even a school day!)

It really freaked me out that my mom would believe ANY of that ridiculously preposterous story. I mean, she watches/listens to Fox, Limbaugh (etc.) all her waking hours, so I know her critical thinking skills have been severely compromised… but JEEZ! And, even if she believed it, WHY would she think she should keep it secret from ME, his mother?! I mean, it’s not like the scam was that he was being held for ransom, and they would kill him if she told anyone. Even after I made it clear I had seen my son earlier that morning (duh… I drove him to school!), she still wanted me to text him to make sure he wasn’t in Mexico City, after all! My mom is very independent, still drives, lives on her own, travels a lot… but this really threw me for a loop. It was very unsettling to realize how close she came to doing something so… inexplicable. (She would have been able to afford it… but still.)

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Response to deurbano (Reply #12)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:43 AM

14. How do these scammers get their phone numbers?

?

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Response to pstokely (Reply #14)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 02:40 AM

16. Voter registration?

Department of Vital Statistics? Insiders who work for the DMV?

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Reply #16)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 04:26 AM

18. When this happened to my grandmother

it was someone inside Bank of America who had access to her accounts and the balances. They even told her which teller to go to because it had all been arranged - it was a different story but same outcome and warnings - don't tell anyone, come alone to the bank. They knew she didn't drive and sent someone to pick her up! It was 2 days before she told me - I was working w/ a consulting group doing a contract job for BofA at the time. I raised holy hell. BofA did NOTHING!

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Response to pstokely (Reply #14)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 08:11 AM

21. Bank computers holding personal information are hacked all the time

My state's Department of Revenue was hacked recently, too. So was the university where I used to work. TWICE. Employees of government agencies and the private sector also screw up and expose personal information on a fairly regular basis via other means, such as lost or stolen laptops containing personal information--that they are not always authorized to have on them. That's how they get phone numbers. And, addresses. And, Social Security numbers...

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Response to pstokely (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:29 AM

13. These "kidnap" ruses

and Nigerian scams are horrendous enough, but to me the biggest ripoffs are the mega churches that solicit money on a daily basis via the teevee.

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Response to Iwillnevergiveup (Reply #13)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:36 AM

23. Praise The Lord and pass the cash!

That holy corvette I'm getting isn't gonna pay for itself!

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Response to pstokely (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 02:22 AM

15. I received a call like this

About a month ago, a guy calls and says "Hi Grandma this is your Grandson London" and proceeds to tell me that he got in a car accident in Mexico and needs money for bail. I just saw my grandson who is too young to drive, the day before and I just didn't recall my grandson, who has lived his whole life in NM, having a New York accent. I think facebook might be the place the caller got his info.

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Response to womanofthehills (Reply #15)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 02:47 AM

17. Happened to a coworker's mother

Elderly, widowed woman who usually stuck close to home, except for an occasional trip across town to a bakery she liked to get bread from. While there, she was approached by two women with some sort of winning lottery ticket confidence scam. That they had a winning ticket, showed her some manner of ticket, but without identification, they were unable to cash it in. If she would withdraw $10K from the bank, they would give her the ticket, she would redeem it and then they would all share the millions in winnings three ways. She did it. Went to the bank, got the cash out, gave it to them and when she tried to redeem the ticket, found out it was fake. The women were long gone. She waited a few hours, then called her daughter at work and confessed that she did something wrong. Poor women, we were all shocked. Daughter went to the bank and arranged that mom couldn't withdraw more than $300 without her daughter or SIL being present. The police told daughter that it had occurred a few times at that instance. She was outraged that there was nothing in the media to warn the elderly that someone was preying on them. Coworker called all the local print and television media to try to get the story out, a few ran it. Even more shocking, someone related to this scam showed up at her door a couple of months later with some other sob story. This time she called the police, but the people bailed when it looked like she wasn't going to be cooperative.

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Response to funkhowser1 (Reply #17)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:34 AM

20. The creators of the comic strip "Baldo" devoted a week to this sort of scam.

For those of you who don't know, Baldo is a strip focused on a Latino family. In one storyline the aunt is bilked in a similar con -- basically a public service announcement on the comics pages.

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Response to pstokely (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:07 AM

19. I got an e-mail...

supposedly from my son that said basically the same thing. The scammer had somehow hacked into his computer and sent the false flag. I forwarded it to my son with the warning that he had been hacked. Since he is quite politically active I knew this was trouble for him. Besides he knows better than to ask us for money. He makes 3xs what we get from SS and a small pension. Glaringly obvious scam.

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Response to pstokely (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 08:17 AM

22. this brings us back to the replacement of medicare with a voucher system

a conversation i had with my republican doctor a few weeks prior to the election.
medicare came up and he knows that i care for my over 90 year old mostly sharp mother.....

i asked him if he really wanted the up coming crop of seniors buying their own health insurance

that is sounded to me like scam central and that lots of seniors would be sending thier premiums to Nigeria--and the he--the good doctor-and he is a good doctor..... would be left holding the bag.

i think he had an oh my god moment.....

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Response to pstokely (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 09:41 AM

24. That young man needs to be promoted /nt

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Response to pstokely (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:01 PM

25. I was forever getting those scam emails

telling me someone had left me millions. And then others saying I won a lottery winner. I am sure everyone has gotten those emails.

Then one day, a man with a heavy accent called me and told me I had won $35,000. I could hear children in the background. I asked him where in Nigeria he was calling from. And then I hung up.

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Response to pstokely (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:18 PM

26. "We do more than grocery at Hy-Vee."

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Response to pstokely (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 02:42 PM

27. Stories of young people helping the elderly and/or vulnerable

make their way through our rapidly changing, high tech society warms my heart. Imo, it is just as kind and sweet as if the young man had physically walked this 88 year old woman across a busy highway. Good manners and deeds these days can take many forms.

Kudos to him as well as the many we never hear about. I hope he gets a whole lot more then just a pat on the back and paltry raise.


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Response to pstokely (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 03:38 PM

28. wow - this is doubly awesome because

once these scammers get their hooks into the victim, it can go on until they are bled dry.

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Response to pstokely (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 04:12 PM

29. I recently received an e-mail...

from a fellow employee I knew but had not spoken with in a while. Basic pitch was they were traveling abroad (in London), in an accident, purse and ID missing, can you help us.

Well, I have been to London, I had a friend that had to go to an ER in London, and trust me, we never got a bill, even though we asked for one. Something about National Health trust or some such thing. We had to wait for all of under 30 min. It was a horrifying experience

Needless to say I deleted the email.

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