Summit County Sheriff, gas station employee thwart scam of elderly woman

Sheriff Helps Thwart Scam
Posted at 3:35 PM, Sep 08, 2023

KIMBALL JUNCTION, Utah — Even while doing the most mundane of every day tasks, Summit County Sheriff Frank Smith was able to help stop a scam that would have cost an elderly woman about $15,000.

Smith was getting gas Tuesday at the Chevron in Kimball Junction when a station employee approached him and said he believed a woman using the ATM inside was being scammed.

A sheriff's office release said Smith spoke to the woman who told him she had already made other large cash withdrawals "after being manipulated over the telephone for over 5 hours."

Believing that the woman was being scammed, Smith called for a marked patrol car and a uniform deputy to observe the interaction with the woman, then accompanied the would-be victim to banks in the area to redeposit the $15,000 she was planning to deposit into the accounts of the crooks.

Later this week, Smith presented the Chevron employee with an "outstanding citizen" certificate for his attention to detail and quick response.

The sheriff's office offered the following tips to avoid being scammed:

  • 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.