A gas station clerk fell victim to a telephone scam on July 16, going so far as to leave the station unattended and wiring cash to the con artist on the other end of the phone. Authorities were able to cancel the transaction before it went through.
According to the Cochise County Sheriff's Office, the clerk answered the phone and was instructed by someone claiming to be from his corporate office to take all the money from the cash register and place it into his own bank account. After doing so, he was instructed to wire the money to the corporate office. He left the gas station, which is located in San Simon, unattended and went home to New Mexico to wire the money.
When would-be shoppers came to the station and found it empty, the police and sheriff's office were called and a search began for the clerk. The clerk called his family to tell them he was OK and returned to the store before noon that day.
According to authorities, it was apparent to the investigating deputies that the clerk did not know he was being scammed until he was informed by the deputies. The money transfer was canceled before it could leave the clerk's account.
Carol Capas, spokesperson for the sheriff's office, said the money involved was "significant." The store has been the target of multiple phone scams in the past, she said.
There are no suspects at this time.