Call for Action Alert: Local store clerks help prevent scam

By  | 

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) -- Some local grocery store clerks saved a woman hundreds of dollars. It was all part of an elaborate scam.

Ferris Frost hugs the King Soopers employees who saved her from losing hundreds to a scam.

11 News investigative reporter Katie Pelton breaks down how some concerned clerks were able to stop a big scam.

"I'd give them a big hug," said Ferris Frost. "I really would."

Frost nearly lost hundreds to a rental scam online. She found a place she liked and reached out to the landlord.

"He says he does the rental part through Airbnb, which kind of clinches it for me because that's a really reputable company," Frost explained.

Although Airbnb is reputable, the man she was talking to claimed she needed to pay $500 in an unusual currency to check the place out in person. That's not how Airbnb works.

"He said he wanted it paid in iTunes cards," said Frost. "I go to the bank and I get some cash to buy the cards with, and I came here to King Soopers to buy the cards."

Frost went to the King Soopers off Austin Bluffs and North Academy in Colorado Springs.

Luckily, Kimberly Olson was behind the counter that day.

"As I was doing the transaction, I was asking her, 'Are these for your grandchildren or what are these for?' And she said, 'Oh no, they're for Airbnb.' And that's when I realized, 'Oh no. It's a scam,'" Olson recalled.

Olson immediately grabbed front end supervisor Fallon Winiecke.

"We definitely just wanted to stop that right off the bat," said Winiecke. "I didn't want her to give payment to them."

The guy never got her money and on Thursday Frost was able to thank her heroes.

"Don't cry because you're going to make me cry," said Olson holding back tears when she met up with Frost.

"You guys stepped forward that day to help, and not everybody does that anymore so I'm really thankful for that," Frost told the employees.

The workers told 11 News that King Soopers trains their employees to spot possible scams and intervene.

"We ask the customers a lot of questions," Winiecke explained. "We don't always mean to pry into your personal lives, we're just trying to protect you."

Airbnb warns about this type of scam. The company says they will never ask you to pay for anything outside of their site. Keep in mind, anytime someone asks you to pay something using gift cards - it's a big red flag.

If you are worried you might be dealing with a scam, you can reach out to our 11 Call for Action volunteers at 719-457-8211.