According to KARK-TV, a Taco Bell restaurant in Benton, Arkansas was robbed of thousands of dollars after someone purporting to be “Pamela Miller” called the store alleging to be a VP from the company’s headquarters. Surprise, surprise: There’s no Taco Bell executive by that name.
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“Pamela” reportedly told an unsuspecting employee that the restaurant’s manager was about to be arrested by the police for voiding customer receipts and taking all the money for herself. But wait! Pamela informed the unsuspecting worker that there was, in fact, one way the employee could solve this whole disaster: by simply withdrawing a few thousand dollars from the restaurant’s safe, putting it into a bag, and handing it over to a coworker who would then receive further instructions.
Then, Pam warned the employee that she was watching her every move remotely via the restaurant’s security cameras. No biggie.
Before we go any further, let’s turn our attention to an alert put out by the Clarksville, Tennessee Police Department back on March 17th of this year.
“The Clarksville Police Department says a caller identifying themselves as Pamela Miller from the corporate office, states that she is working with the authorities (U.S. Marshall’s Service) regarding indictments on all levels of management,” the alert reads, as reported by Clarksville Online. “Employees are advised that the business is surrounded, and the only way for them to avoid arrest is to follow her explicit instructions regarding taking cash from the business and making wire transfers at locations such as Advance Financial, Walmart, Walgreens, etc. while on the phone with her. …If you receive such a phone call you need to hang up immediately and notify the local authorities.”
Well, duh. We’ll give these employees the benefit of the doubt; their particular story does vary in tiny, tiny ways from the police reports detailing Pamela’s previous scam efforts. Must be a different Pamela Miller.
And so, our story continues. The employee went on to get the money, put it in a bag, and hand it over to his coworker, who—somehow—SOMEHOW—also didn’t sense anything suspicious about Pamela’s missive. That employee then spoke to Ms. Miller himself, and was given explicit instructions on how to wire the money. He immediately left to go take care of that request.
When the second employee had been gone for one long hour, the first employee began to think that maybe, just maybe, the two of them had just been scammed. So she dialed the regional manager, who confirmed her worst fears by affirming that, indeed, there was no “Pamela” on Taco Bell HQ’s staff. The manager then called the police (after having a heart attack, we assume).
The police found the second employee, but not quite in the nick of time. He had just transferred $1,300 through a Western Union terminal, and before that, he’d wired $1,000 through a Money Gram at a local Walmart. As he told the police, he’d flushed the transfer receipts down the toilet. Because Pamela told him to.
Come on, anonymous Taco Bell employees. Come on.
The investigation is ongoing. If you have any information about the incident, or have been scammed by Pam yourself, contact the Benton Police Department at 501-778-1171 or 501-315-TIPS.