Police & Fire

Summit County Sheriff helps elderly woman nearly scammed out of $15,000

PARK CITY, Utah — The Summit County Sheriff’s Office is reminding locals to remain vigilant of scams after an elderly woman was nearly scammed out of thousands of dollars on Tuesday.

According to a press release from the SCSO, Summit County Sheriff Frank Smith stopped for gas at Chevron in Kimball Junction on Tuesday afternoon when a concerned employee told the sheriff he believed an elderly woman using the gas station’s ATM was being scammed.

“Sheriff Smith spoke with the woman and soon learned that this would-be victim had made multiple large cash withdraws after being manipulated over the telephone for over 5 hours,” said a statement from the SCSO. “Sheriff Smith believed that this woman was being victimized by scammers.”

Smith and a patrol sergeant accompanied the woman to multiple banks in the area, where she was able to re-deposit the $15,000 she was preparing to deposit into the scammer’s account.

The Chevron employee was awarded an “outstanding citizen” certificate for their quick thinking in reporting the incident.

“Scams like this are plaguing our community at an alarming rate. Just a few days prior to this incident, top-ranking SCSO members received multiple phone calls from citizens wishing to verify demands to send money in lieu of going to jail,” said a statement from the SCSO. “The demands were not legitimate and were in fact made by scammers pretending to be SCSO employees.”

The SCSO has issued the following tips to help residents protect themselves from scams:

  • Do not speak on the phone with strangers identifying themselves as law enforcement officers and demanding cash or gift cards.
  • Do not respond to emails, text messages, or phone calls from an unknown source. Call a known phone number to verify requests or demands for money.
  • NEVER share explicit photos of yourself on social media or text messages; these photos may be used to exploit you for money. Talk to your teenage kids about
    these dangers.
  • Do speak with children, the elderly, and other vulnerable individuals about scams.
  • Do call your local police or sheriff’s department to verify the legitimacy of individuals claiming to be law enforcement.

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