Smooth-talking scam artist makes off with woman's credit card

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BOUNTIFUL -- A smooth-talking scam artist with a sob story went trolling for money in Bountiful and made off with an elderly woman's credit card.

Ruth Jenkins says she's always been careful with her money, but a woman who walked into her home two days ago got the best of her at a vulnerable time.

Jenkins admits she's far too trusting of everyone. Her friends even warn her about it.

"You've got to be different," Jenkins says they tell her. "You trust everybody. You love everybody."

But at the age of 85, she says she isn't likely to change, even though she will try to be more careful.

"I don't want to mistrust people. I never have," she says.

That trait got her into trouble Sunday evening around 5:00. Jenkins is recovering from surgery and says she felt foggy from drugs. In walks a friendly, attractive blond woman who knew Jenkins by name and said she was a neighbor.

"She was just going through the neighborhood pushing doorbells," says Jenkins.

The smooth-talking woman claimed her husband was stranded in Fillmore and she needed cash to gas up so she could drive south to get him.

"So, I just handed her my credit card and said, 'Honey, go fill your tank and bring my credit card and a receipt right back.'"

The woman took the credit card and went to an ATM on Orchard Drive and withdrew $300. She never took the card back, but by that time, Jenkins was starting to figure out what had happened. She called a neighbor who helped her cancel the card.

"He's an attorney, and he smelled fraud immediately," she says.

The crook tried at least one other home in the neighborhood, but police have not heard other complaints.

They will work with the credit union to come up with surveillance photo that may help them catch the thief.

She says, "Now I got fearful she'll come back. I worry. I worry."

Her credit card company will cover the loss. Jenkins says the woman is around 5 feet 5 inches tall, medium build, with long blond hair and bangs.

Police remind everyone not to let strangers into their homes.


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Jed Boal


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