Cab Driver Helps Elderly Woman After Getting Scammed By “Grandson”

 Cab drivers drive a variety of different people around. A cab driver can interact with virtually every type of person on the way to and from their desired destination. These include men, women, kids, and people of virtually every ethnicity, race, nationality and age. However, one type of person who cab drivers work with, probably the most, is elderly people. Driving an elderly person around town can be tricky. And things proved to be particularly tricky for one taxi driver who drove a woman to Walmart on one fateful evening. Join us as we tell the story of a cab driver who was sure that his passenger was in some sort of danger.

Something’s Not Right…

A cab driver picked up an elderly woman and took her to Walmart in what he thought would be a normal ride. Her grandson was in serious trouble and asked her to purchase some gift cards for him.

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Something’s Not Right…
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However, it wouldn’t take long before the driver knew that something was wrong. All of a sudden, he stopped the cab, did a 180 and went the opposite way. Naturally, the bewildered elderly woman had no idea what was going on…

Heroic Cab Driver

Richard Spencer has lived in Quincy, Massachusetts for most of his life. Having served his community in a variety of ways, the middle-aged man spends his time working as a cab driver.

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Heroic Cab Driver

There’s nothing he loves more than helping people get from place to place. And the elderly passenger who stepped foot in his car was just one of the many elderly people he works with. It was just another ride for Spencer. Soon enough though, he knew that something was right…

Mysterious Passenger

As soon as Spencer’s latest passenger stepped foot into his cab, he smelled something fishy going on.

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Mysterious Passenger

The 87-year-old woman had called a few minutes beforehand, asking for him to pick her up so she could go to Walmart. The reason that she was in such a rush to get to the store was to acquire a pair of gift cards. She began to explain this to Spencer. However, the next part of her story was what worried him the most…

Grandson Needs Help

The elderly woman began to explain to the cab driver that she had received a phone call from her grandson. At least, she thought the man who called her was her grandson.

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Grandson Needs Help

The young man went on to explain to the old lady that he had been involved in a serious car accident. As a result, he required some sort of financial aid in order to prevent him from going to jail. At this point, he asked her to get him the gift cards…

Happy To Help

What Spencer the cab driver began to learn was that the elderly woman was a very kind individual who would do anything for her family.

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Happy To Help

After her “grandson” asked her for the favor, she kindly obliged and didn’t hesitate to help him. As far as she was concerned, she would do whatever it took to make sure that her grandson didn’t go to jail. It was at this point that the woman explained to the cab driver what she was instructed to do…

Clear Instructions

The elderly woman went on to explain that her “grandson” gave her clear instructions in order to get the gift cards he required. Firstly, he instructed her to call a cab, who would take her to Walmart to purchase the gift cards.

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Clear Instructions

Then, when she was on her way home, she would provide the man with the cards’ pin numbers. They were pretty simple instructions to follow. However, she was in for a rude awakening when Richard Spencer gave her his two cents…

Sounds Familiar

The reason that the cab driver was so unsettled by the elderly woman’s words was due to the fact that he had heard a very similar story just a few hours beforehand.

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Sounds Familiar

During that morning, a fellow cab driver told Spencer that he had driven the very same woman during that very morning. The man went on to explain that he had taken her to Walmart and she said exactly the same thing. She wanted to go to Walmart to buy two $2,000 gift cards.

Not The First Time

While Richard Spencer was naturally surprised by what was happening, this wasn’t the first time that he had to deal with such a case. A virtually identical incident happened to him just two years ago.

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Not The First Time

An elderly person stepped into his cab and also ended up getting scammed. Desperate to help this person find some sort of justice, the cab driver was vigilante and alerted the authorities. This was very much a case of deja vu for Spencer…

What Should I Do?

Ultimately, Spencer, the cab driver, knew that he needed to help this poor lady out. At first, he considered doing nothing about it and simply taking her to Walmart as she asked.

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What Should I Do?

However, he knew that this wouldn’t be enough. He knew that if he simply went along with this crazy scenario, he would become a part of the problem. In the end, it would take Spencer a lot of courage and stubbornness to make the right decision…

We’re Not Going

As he got close to Walmart, all of a sudden, Spencer turned the steering wheel, did a U-turn and went in the opposite direction. He didn’t even say anything; a move that left the elderly woman completely bewildered.

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We’re Not Going

The confused lady couldn’t believe what was happening and asked Spencer why he wouldn’t take her to her desired destination. After asking him why he was being so stubborn, his explanation shook her to her very core…

You’re Getting Scammed

After the elderly woman explained to him that she was buying the gift cards to help out her grandson, the cab driver was quick to set the record straight.

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You’re Getting Scammed

“‘I don’t think so lady. I think you’re getting scammed,'” he said in an interview with WBZ. “I’ve heard this before.” There is no doubt that these words hit the elderly woman hard. However, it was the next thing that Spencer said that was the toughest pill for her to swallow…

He’s Not Your Grandson

It was a tough thing to tell the elderly woman. However, the cab driver knew that he needed to be honest with her during a time when other people were not.

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He’s Not Your Grandson

He broke the news to her that the man who had asked her for a favor wasn’t, in fact, her grandson. “I said, ‘excuse me mam, but that is not your grandson…It’s someone posing.” This begs the question – what was the cab driver supposed to do next?

He Took Her To The Police

The cab driver had turned the car around in order to take the elderly woman to the Quincy Police Department.

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He Took Her To The Police

According to their Facebook page, QPD’s mission is “to create a proactive partnership with the citizens of Quincy that best serves the needs of the Community, and to attain a high quality of life for all citizens of Quincy.” Surely enough, Spencer was aware of their mission and knew that they were the right people to crack this case.

Scam Confirmed

After Spencer took the woman to the Quincy Police Department, they conducted a thorough investigation. Surely enough, they came to the conclusion that the lady was another victim of this kind of scam.

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Scam Confirmed

“The police officers confirmed to her that she was being scammed,” he said. However, this isn’t just any ordinary scam. This is a specific scam that affects many elderly people and usually plays out the same way. It’s so common that it even has a name…

Grandparent Scam

WBZ reporter Tashanea Whitlow referred to the scam as a “Grandparent Scam.” According to fraud.org, a typical “grandparent scam” is when “a con artist calls or emails the victim posing as a relative in distress or someone claiming to represent the relative (such as a lawyer or law enforcement agent).”

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Grandparent Scam

“The “relative” of the grandparent explains she is in trouble and needs their grandparent to wire them funds that will be used for bail money, lawyer’s fees, hospital bills, or another fictitious expense.”

What Went Down

After the investigation came to an end, QPD had a clear picture of what happened to the elderly woman. A gang of criminals contacted her, claiming to be her grandson and needed $4000 as he was in serious trouble.

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What Went Down

At this point, they instructed the 87-year-old woman to go to Walmart, buy two gifts cards, provide them with the pin numbers, and that was that. However, there was one vital link in the chain that brought this case to a close: Spencer the cab driver…

Spencer The Vigilante

The police were particularly grateful to Richard Spencer as he potentially saved the elderly woman thousands of dollars.

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Spencer The Vigilante

There is no denying that had he not been her cab driver on that fateful evening, she would have gotten herself into some serious trouble. However, Spencer realized something. As he retold the story, it became clearer and clearer to him just how similar this story was to the last time he had to deal with a “grandparent scam…”

Same Story, Different Person

Spencer recalled how he had gone through the same ordeal with another elderly person. This time though, the cab driver took the person to the bank to make sure that no criminals could take any money from them.

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Same Story, Different Person

“I believe you’re being scammed and we’re going to try and save you some money,” he remembered telling the person. “[I was] hoping that they froze the account quick enough because it was paid by check.”

Foreign Threats

There was one statistic that truly hit home just how dangerous these types of scams can be to the elderly community. According to the Quincy Police Department, the majority of scammers who prey on vulnerable elderly people are operating outside of the United States of America. That’s not all though.

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Foreign Threats

Apparently, 99.9% of all reported cases, the authorities are unable to crack down on the person who is responsible for these heinous crimes. While the cops closed this case, Spencer’s story wasn’t over just yet…

He Got A Parking Ticket

Just when he thought he had done the most selfish of acts, Richard Spencer was lost for words when he returned to his car.

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He Got A Parking Ticket

After freezing the woman’s accounts at the bank and taking her back to his car, he noticed that he had received a parking ticket! Naturally, he was frustrated by the incident. However, when he told the Quincy Police Department about his misfortune, they happily took care of it. And that’s not all they did for the cab driver…

Praise Is Due

Shortly after cracking down on the case, the Quincy Police Department wrote a post on their Facebook page sharing the story with the online community.

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Praise Is Due

They went into the detail about the events that transpired, while also praising Richard Spencer for his heroic efforts. “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.” However, that wasn’t all the QPD wrote…

Important Warning

Following their praise of Spencer, QDP advised anyone who works at a store to question elderly people before any purchase. “Cashiers, etc: If you work in an environment that sells gift cards, take a moment to ask yourself – Does this make sense?” they wrote.

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Important Warning

“Why would an 87-year-old individual need $4000 in gift cards to this particular store/app. Ask questions. Sure, there may be a legitimate reason, but if you take the time and ask the questions, you just might prevent someone from falling victim.”

Richard Is Disgusted

While Richard Spencer enjoyed receiving unanimous praise for his vigilance, he was still extremely upset about the way that some of his passengers have been treated.

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Richard Is Disgusted

“I think it’s one of the scummiest crimes you can do. It just goes to show you what scumbags they are,” he said. “They’re too lazy to get out and steal like a real criminal. They go and scam people on the phone.” Hopefully, Spencer will never have to deal with such an issue ever again.

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