SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) — A Chevron employee in Summit County was named an “outstanding citizen” after he saved a woman being victimized by scammers from losing $15,000.

The Summit County Sheriff’s Office said as Sheriff Frank Smith stopped to get fuel in the Kimball Junction area of Summit County an employee approached him. The employee told Smith there was a woman described as “elderly” trying to use the ATM inside the gas station. The employee said they were concerned the woman was being scammed.

Smith said he spoke with the woman and learned that the woman had made multiple “large cash” withdraws. Through his conversation with the woman, Smith reportedly learned she had been on the phone with the would-be scammers for over five hours.

“Recognizing he was in an unmarked police car with only limited police identifiers, Sheriff Smith instructed the SCSO dispatch center to send a marked patrol car and uniformed deputy to the Chevron in order to further legitimize this interaction,” said a press release.

Smith and a patrol sergeant escorted the woman to two different banks where she re-deposited $15,000 she had planned to deposit into the scammer’s account. Following the incident, Sheriff Smith presented the vigilant Chevron employee with an “outstanding citizen” certificate for their attention to detail and quick response.

“Scams like this are plaguing our community at an alarming rate,” said an SCSO press release. “Just a few days prior to this incident, top-ranking SCSO members received multiple phone calls from citizens wishing to verify demands to send money in lieu of going to jail.”

The Sheriff’s Office said those demands were not legitimate and were in fact scammers pretending to be employees at the Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Frank reminds the public to be extremely cautious of possible scams and says they should follow precautions to protect themselves. These precautions include:

  • Do not speak on the phone with strangers identifying themselves as law enforcement officers demanding cash or gift cards.
  • Do not respond to emails, text messages, or phone calls from an unknown source. Call a known phone number to verify requests or demands for money.
  • Never share explicit photos of yourself on social media or text messages as they can be used later for blackmail.

Frank said parents should speak with children, the elderly, and vulnerable individuals about scams. Anyone who suspects they have come across a phone scam should hang up and call the local police or sheriff’s department to verify the legitimacy of the call.