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Beware when someone asks you to hurriedly buy gift cards

Don't Waste Your Money: Beware hurried demands for gift-card purchases
Posted at 6:00 PM, Feb 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-10 19:03:56-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Karen Rodder was grabbing some items in Target.

But what she heard by this rack of gift cards stopped her in her tracks.

“I overheard a conversation about what I assumed was an employee of Target,” Rodder said.

This 79-year-old woman -- Helen -- was in a heated conversation with a Target clerk,as she tried to buy $1,000 worth of gift cards.

It started an hour earlier when Helen got a phone call from her grandson, who said he had just been arrested.

"I said who is this?,” Helen said. “He said your grandson! I said Daniel is this you?"

He needed bail money immediately.

"I needed to get to Target and get two $500 gift certificates."

How convinced was she that this was real?

“She was pretty convinced,” Rodder said.

Karen says it was obvious that Helen wasn't buying what the store clerk had to say ....

And that the older woman was still determined to buy those gift cards. That's when she decided to get involved.

"I said you don't seem to be believing this person working here, but this is a very common scam.
Rodder said.

It suddenly dawned on Helen that maybe it wasn’t her grandson on the phone.

So she put down the gift cards, and instead called police.

Helen doesn't want us to use her last name but wants to publicly thank Karen and the young Target clerk for saving her a $1,000 loss.

“All the people at Target were nice to us and Karen was extra nice to us,” she said.

The lesson here?

If you see a confused older person making hundreds of dollars of gift-card purchases, you might want to alert a sales clerk that something may be wrong, so you don’t waste your money.