Scams Still Effective.. Hy-Vee Steps In - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Scams Still Effective.. Hy-Vee Steps In


All it takes is one. 

This is what Bettendorf Police say keeps scammers in business. 

And the fact that old scams, still seem to work.

It happened to Jan Sawvell on a quiet morning on January 11th. 

The Grandmother of 11 heard what she though was the voice of her oldest Grandson on the other end of a phone call. 

He was stuck in a Mexican prison and needed money to get out. 

"Then he said the only way to expedite the trial was for me to send him $1,000 and he would be able to see the judge that day," Says Sawvell. "And if I didn't, he could be there for 8 weeks."

30 minutes later, she had the cash ready, rushing to save her Grand baby. 

She went to the Hy-Vee on 53rd Street in Davenport, near her house.

But the real reason she went there? She was told to. 

"They actually had the address and name of a place where I could go to Western Union."

Fortunately for Jan, the people at Hy-Vee had seen this before. 

They are trained to ask questions any time a large amount of money is being sent out, especially outside the country. 

"I ask things like: Who's it going to? Is there a reason why you are trying to send it to that person?" says Hy-Vee Customer Service Representative, Kristie Gomez. 

Unfortunately, Jan's story isn't uncommon. 

Hy-Vee representatives say many times there victims are secretive when they come into their store.

The reason?

The person running the scam told them not to talk to anyone else about it. 

"It's kind of a hard thing to deal with sometimes," says Gomez. "I try to think of them as my family because I wouldn't want them scammed out of a certain amount of money."

Sawvell says she was even told to call the scammer back, once the deposit had been made. 

Today, we made that phone call, only to met with a busy signal. 

Bettendorf Police say these scams are very common. 

Unfortunately, police say there is little they can do to help once the money is gone, it's out of their jurisdiction. 

They say scammers usually go after older people and try to play off their emotions.