IRS Confidence Scheme Foiled by Alert Store Employee in SSF

South San Francisco, CA   July 5, 2014  Submitted by SSFPDSSFPD logo

Recently, several residents of South San Francisco have fallen victim to a unique type of scam in which citizens have been contacted by subjects purporting to be agents with the Internal Revenue Service. The fake agents advise the victim that they owe large amounts of money in back taxes. The fake agents threaten arrest if the money is not paid.

On Tuesday, July 01, 2014 at approximately 2:00 p.m.  a  South San Francisco resident was contacted by a person claiming to be an IRS Agent. The victim was told she owed the IRS $3,800.00 and would be arrested if she failed to make immediate payment with a pre-loaded debit card.


The resident purchased the prepaid card as instructed at a local Safeway Store. However, an alert store clerk overheard the victim on her cellular phone and recognized she was being victimized by a scam. The store clerk intervened and stopped the victim from providing the access (pin number), there by foiling the suspect’s attempt to collect the funds without being detected.


Please contact the South San Francisco Police Department at (650)877-8900ifyoubelieveyouhavebeenthevictimofthistypeofconfidencescheme.



ESC says BRAVO to the clerk who helped our neighbor out! WTG!

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[…] neighbors we all need to be more aware of what is happening. Especially in the stores. Recently our Safeway Clerk foiled a scam by advising a customer not to give the PIN information to caller on the cell phone as she […]


[…] *Currently in the running is the Safeway Clerk who went above and beyond: her customer just bought a prepaid card and was about to give out the PIN to someone on her cell phone when our clerk intervened and foiled that scam. (Story HERE) […]

Daniel Deveron Baker
7 years ago

Some guy called me a couple months ago, claiming to be a San Francisco police officer. His number showed up on my Caller ID, but the name was blocked. He claimed I had a warrant out for my arrest because of an unpaid parking ticket. I asked for details, and knew instantly that this was a scam. I tracked his number down to a house in Oakland. I have the information in a file, and I really need to share this with my local (SSF) police. I have just been so darn busy, and too tired after work. I work full-time at Safeway (for 37 years), and I am exhausted after my shift ends. And, no, I don’t think I was the clerk who saved the day! If the customer still has their receipt, the checker’s name will be on it. Or, they can have the store manager track down this information if the customer can remember the date they shopped, and can provide the number on the front of their Safeway Club Card. Can’t the customer re-visit the store, and try to find the clerk again? I am very proud that one of my fellow workers helped prevent another person get robbed. I hope the police can catch these con artists, and that our courts will put them away for a very long time!