Scams are a common nuisance in today’s world, and as the scammers get smarter and more inventive, well-meaning citizens are hard-pressed to keep up their guard — especially the elderly, as scammers tend to target them.
A 92-year-old woman from Roseville, California, nearly fell victim to one such scam when she was contacted by an individual claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service. He told her that she owed $25,000.
The woman began making arrangements to send the money in, and if she hadn’t bumped into Raj Singh, she might have been out a large chunk of her savings.
Singh, who owns Roseville Cab, picked up the elderly woman to take her to the bank. As the two chatted, Singh got a bad feeling about the woman’s situation, according to a post the Roseville Police Department later shared.
“While in route, he started talking with the woman who informed Raj that she owed the IRS $25,000 and she was headed to the bank to get the money and send it off to settle her debt,” the department posted on Facebook on Feb. 11.
“This sounded very suspicious to Raj so he suggested to the woman, this may be a scam. She didn’t believe him.”
Eventually, Singh was able to persuade her to let him call the number of the man who claimed to be with the IRS.
She agreed to it, and when he called the number, Singh was even more convinced the whole thing was a setup.
“We called this number again and I asked the man, ‘Do you know this lady?’ He said no,” Singh told CNN. “I knew something was wrong.”
After that, the woman also agreed to stop by the Roseville Police Station to ask about the legitimacy of the claim — and it was a good thing she did.
“After speaking with the officer, the woman believed she was being scammed and decided not to pay the scammers,” the police department shared. “Raj took the woman back home.”
“We love this story because several times throughout, Raj could have just taken his customer to her stop and not worried about her wellbeing. He took time from his day and had the great forethought to bring the almost-victim to the police station for an official response.”
The police department later recognized Singh’s intervention with a $50 gift card and the Facebook post that named him a “Great Citizen.”
But for Singh, the decision was pretty straightforward.
“I am an honest guy, and these are old people. They need help,” he said. “It just made sense.”
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