Scammers target local convenience stores

Scammers who targeted two Big Horn County convenience stores in the past month might have been successful had it not been for the actions of law enforcement officials at both ends of the county.
In a Facebook post, the Big Horn County Sheriff’s Office alerted the public to the scam.  While it did not name the businesses, Sheriff Ken Blackburn identified them as the Country Store in Lovell, which was targeted a few weeks ago, and the Maverik store in Greybull, on Wednesday, Jan. 24.
In both cases, “employees (were) contacted by who they believe to be managers, or higher ups in the company. This person instructs them to get money out of the till or get into an office and get money out. They are instructed to deposit the money in a company account and instructions are given.”
In the Lovell incident, a clerk was directed to close the store and deposit the money at an undisclosed location in Powell. She was in the process of doing so when law enforcement intervened, according to Blackburn.
Last week, it happened again in Greybull. Blackburn said Deputy Seth Hoblit and Cat Wiekhorst of the Greybull Police Department played instrumental roles in preventing the scam. It, too, began with a phone call to the clerk, who was in the process of gathering up the cash when Hoblit, who had stopped in for a coffee, directed her to hang up the phone and proceeded to launch an investigation.
The sheriff’s office is advising business owners and managers to educate their employees on issues such as these so they are aware of who has control over legitimate money handling and can better determine what is a scam.