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CVS clerk in Buckeye saves Valley grandmother from phone scam

Posted at 10:26 PM, Jun 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-28 08:09:06-04

A CVS store clerk helped stop a Valley grandmother from giving away hundreds of dollars to fraudsters behind a phone scam. 

"They called me, and they said this is APS, and you haven't made your last two payments," 80-year-old Joyce McKinney told ABC15. 

McKinney, believing the caller, told the woman she had documentation to prove her account was in good standing. The woman told her there must have been a "glitch in the system" and she would still need to pay. 

"She said, well, we're going to have to shut your electric off in 30 minutes," McKinney said. 

The scammers told her the only way to stop her electric service from being turned off was to purchase a $305 "MoneyPak" card and provide them with the voucher number. 

McKinney quickly drove to the Verrado CVS store where, thankfully, Glenn Jones was working. 

"I told her right then and there, I said, that's a scam," Jones told ABC15. 

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He stopped her from purchasing the prepaid voucher and, from the store, helped her get in touch with actual APS employees to check on her account. 

"I'm glad it turned out OK for her," he said. 

Jones said he'd stopped prior customers from falling victim to this and similar scams that, in one case, involved a $2,000 transaction. 

McKinney said this call seemed legitimate because the woman on the other end of the line knew her name. 

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"They are doing this in this community to us people, you know, that are alone and by ourselves," she said. 

An APS spokesperson said if electric service is set to be turned off customers will receive ample notice, not a last minute phone call. 

The company will never tell customers to purchase a prepaid card and, if uncertain whether or not a notice is legit; customers can call the number listed on their bill to verify.