Albertsons Grocery Store Helps Woman Fight Purported Con Artist - NBC 7 San Diego

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Albertsons Grocery Store Helps Woman Fight Purported Con Artist

Stopping victims at the check-out line.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Local Grocery Store Stops Woman From Losing Thousands of Dollars

    NBC7's Consumer Bob reports on a woman who almost lost thousands until a grocery store employee stepped in to help. (Published Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015)

    Dana Rauzon was shocked when she look at the number on her cell phone and she saw the letters 'I.R.S.'

    It was even worse when she answered the call.

    "He said, 'I needed to get an attorney or I'm going to jail,'" said Rauzon.

    The caller claimed to be working for the Internal Revenue Service (I.R.S) and that Dana owned $2,591 in back taxes.

    The Chula Vista woman said she couldn't go to jail, so the caller said the I.R.S could give her a break if she could send them the money in the next half hour.

    "It really scared me," said Rauzon.

    So she took out the money at her local credit union. The caller told her she could send the money by loading it onto a "Reloadit" card. The nearest place to get the rechargeable card was at a neighborhood Albertsons supermarket.

    The cards can be loaded with up to $500 each. Once you have the card you can scratch off  the covering in back and read off the pack numbers. Those numbers allow for an immediate transfer of money.

    When Albertsons assistant store director Thelma Curiel saw Dana loading money onto multiple cards, she got concerned.

    "She seemed a little nervous and that amount that she was purchasing gave me a red flag," said Curiel.

    Thelma asked Dana why she needed to transfer the money. Dana was embarrassed to tell the clerk that she owned back taxes, but eventually she told her what she was doing.

    Albertsons convinced Dana that it was what the I.R.S. called a scheme and that she should not send the money.

    "I could see it in her eyes that she cared," said Dana about Thelma. She finally believed the Albertsons staff that she was making a mistake and did not send the money.

    "It was Albertsons that saved the day because they said this is fraud," said Dana.

    Albertsons community relations specialist Jenna Watkinson says it's part of their job to look out for their customers.

    "Our goal is to look out for the best interest of our customers," said Watkinson, "and when we see something happening we want to intervene and make sure they're taken care of."

    Dana was so grateful she returned to the Albertsons to give Thelma a thank-you card and a bouquet of roses.