Cab driver prevents elderly woman from losing $2,000 in new scam – Here’s what to be aware of

An elderly woman was about to send $2,000 to criminals in a 'textbook grandparent scam', but her taxi driver decided to step in.


If you were lucky enough to grow up with your grandparents by your side, you know the meaning of the purest form of love. There is really nothing these people wouldn’t do for the well-being of their grandchildren. From spoiling them rotten while they are little kids, to taking them to the park, and being supportive all the way, grandmas and grandpas are simply the best.

Actually, this is something everyone is pretty much aware of, even fraudsters and conmen who would do anything to take advantage of the affection these loving people feel for their grandkids.

The so-called ‘grandparents scams’ are becoming popular among criminals who trick the vulnerable individuals into thinking how their granddaughter or grandson are done for and in need of urgent financial aid.

They do this scam by pretending to be lawyers, doctors, and even police officers. The grandparents fall for this easily believing they are getting their loved ones out of trouble.

The first thing the criminals do is come up with excuses of why would they need the money for. Sometimes it’s a sudden surgery, costs for lawyers, or paying for a driving ticket. After they present this well-planned stories, they ask the grandparents to send them the money, which most are willing to do.

This operation isn’t as simple as it sounds. The scammers spend certain amount of time learning about both the victim and their family members. They usually do this by going through the grandchildren’s social networking sites accounts trying to exploit the relationship they have with their grandparents.

Since the fictional situations and problems the scammers present the victims with are sort of embarrassing and personal, the grandparents don’t share them with the rest of the family members or their friends. They believe they’ve been loyal, without being aware they are not actually helping anyone.

The latest victim of this sort of scam was an 87-year-old lady from Quincy.

The lady was already tricked into spending around $4,000 on gift cards that she sent to the criminals. They, however, realized she was an easy target and decided they wanted more money. She agreed on sending them Walmart gift cards that would cost additional $2,000. As she headed to the store, she shared this story with the taxi driver who suspected this elderly woman had been set up.

Richard Spencer, the yellow cab driver, didn’t fall for this strange story and knew the lady had been scammed.

“I said excuse me ma’am, but that is not your grandson,” the cab driver said. “It’s someone posing.”

She told Spencer how someone called her earlier that day saying how her grandson was involved in a car accident that he caused and now he needed gift cards he would use to pay in order to be spared jail time.

“I don’t think so lady,” Richard said to her. “I think you’re getting scammed. I heard this before, you know.”

The trip to Walmart turned into one to the nearest police station.

“I said, no, no we’re not going to Walmart. I’m calling the Quincy Police,” he later said to WBZ-TV. “I said I believe your being scammed and we’re going to try to save you some money.”

It turned out Spencer was right. This grandma was a victim of a scam.

The police, however, says catching these criminals is not easy since they usually operate out of the U.S.

If it wasn’t for this quick-thinking taxi driver, the lady would lose even more money.

“I think it’s one of the scummiest crimes you can do,” the cab driver concluded. “It just goes to show what scumbags they are, they’re too lazy to go out and steal like a real criminal, they go scam people on the phone.”

Everyone praises Spencer’s action. He knew something was wrong and trusted his intuition.

“Thank you Mr. Spencer for caring. You could have chosen to remain silent and ignore the signs. But you didn’t. And for that we say THANK YOU” the police department wrote on their Facebook page.

While Spencer was helping his passenger that day, he got a traffic ticket. But we hope the officers would let him out of the hook because of his kind deed.