Detectives with the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office say a woman working the register at a CVS store in Fresno helped a customer avoid becoming further victimized by a costly scam.

A man recently visited the CVS at 728 W. Shaw Ave. inside Fig Garden Village and tried to purchase $3,000 worth of Green Dot reloadable prepaid cards. The cashier became suspicious and asked the man why he needed the money. He said the IRS called him saying he owed the money and it must be paid right away. The woman, who was familiar with scams involving Green Dot cards, warned him that con artists were likely targeting him.

The man later filed a report with the Sheriff’s Office and told detectives that he had already been duped out of $3,000. He says it began with him receiving a phone call from a person claiming to be an employee of the IRS. The caller told him he was overdue on his taxes and must make a payment immediately in order to avoid getting in trouble. The man then visited a Von’s grocery store and purchased $3,000 in Green Dot cards and sent the money to the group posing to be the IRS. Later the same day, he received another phone call from the same group stating they received his payment, but he now owes another $3,000. Thankfully, this attentive CVS cashier spoke up and prevented him from being taken advantage of again.

In this case, the suspect description is limited to a male with a middle-eastern accent.

The public must be cautious of anyone who contacts them and asks for money. Retail clerks should also not shy away from asking customers questions whenever they are purchasing prepaid cards in large amounts because it could save them from significant financial loss.

Green Dot MoneyPaks have become a popular method of payment by scam artists because the way the current system is setup, funds are untraceable. If you happen to receive this type of call, do not send any money. Instead, report it to your local law enforcement agency immediately.

*** The victim involved in this case has agreed to do media interviews about his experience in an effort to raise awareness and prevent others from losing money. The local CVS district manager is also available for comment. If you are interested in speaking with the victim, please contact Fresno County Sheriff’s Office PIO, Tony Botti.


Contact Information

Tony Botti
Public Information Officer
(559) 600-8137
Tony.Botti@fresnosheriff.org