The 72-year-old went to a CVS in Clarkstown, New York, and tried to buy $3,000 worth of gift cards.
But just a day earlier, police had warned store employees about phone scams where older people are tricked into buying gift cards.
Rather than ring her up, the clerk called police who rushed over.
"It's really important to protect them, especially when they're calling victims when they are so vulnerable to these scams. You know, it just hits home," said an officer with the Clarkstown Police Department.
In this case, the woman had been contacted by someone claiming to be from Social Security who was threatening to cancel her credit card.