Authorities in northern California say some quick thinking by a cab driver may have saved an elderly 92-year-old woman from being scammed out of $25,000.
It all began when Rajbir Singh, who owns Roseville Cab, responded to a call to pick up a 92-year-old woman from her home in Sun City, California and bring her to her local bank, the City of Roseville Police Department said in a statement.
While they en route to the bank, the two began chatting and the elderly woman revealed she was going to the bank to withdraw $25,000 to settle a debt she had with the IRS.
Singh immediately became suspicious, telling her he believed that sounded like a scam, but she didn't believe him. At one point, Singh asked her to reconsider and convinced her to take a detour to a police station where he hoped officers could convince her she was being scammed and not to withdraw her money.
Singh went into the station and spoke with an officer in the station about his suspicions while she waited outside in the cab. That officer then spoke with the woman in the cab and confirmed that she was about to fall victim to a common scam, known as the IRS scam.
IRS scams, which often target the elderly, usually involve telling victims they owe large amounts of money and that they could be placed in prison, or have their social security number revoked.
"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 department wrote.
"His quick thinking saved a senior citizen $25,000 and for that, we greatly appreciate his efforts."
"I am an honest guy, and these are old people. They need help,” Singh told CNN on Thursday. "It just made sense."
Singh drove the woman home, her $25,000 safe and secure. About a week later, Singh received a call from the department, asking him to come back to the station.
"In partnership with Roseville Crime Stoppers we were able to provide Raj a $50 gift card to say thank you," the release added.
Photo: City of Roseville Police Department