When a grandfather in Ohio went to a local Walmart to make a money transfer, he told the teller it was for a loved one in need. But when she heard the whole story, she could sense that something shady was going on.
Nearing Christmastime in 2016, Cecil Rodgers, from Cincinnati, was looking forward to spending the festive season with his family at home, just like many other families. However, things took a turn for the worse (or so he thought) when he received a call from one of his adult grandchildren.
“A voice comes on and says, ‘Papaw, this is your oldest grandson. I’m in trouble,’” Rodgers recalled of the conversation to WCPO. He was told that his grandson had been in a car crash.
“He said, ‘I hit a woman’s car and she was seven months pregnant. And they charged me with drunken driving and I’m in jail,’” Rodgers paraphrased.
The phone was then handed to another man, apparently the grandson’s lawyer, who told Rodgers that he had to go to a Walmart store to do a direct store-to-store money transfer, and the amount of $2,300 was required to pay for his grandson’s bail bond.
“I’m going to try to get him out so he can drive home,” the man told Rodgers.
Hearing this, Rodgers went to withdraw $2,000 from his bank and proceeded to the local Walmart in Everdale.
Rodgers did not suspect anything was fishy until after he handed his money to Audrella Taylor, the Walmart employee at the register. Rodgers told the story to Taylor, and immediately her suspicions were aroused.
“He said something about somebody was locked up in jail, he got a call, and he needed to send $2,000,” Taylor recalled.
The Walmart employee of five years suspected that Rodgers had been contacted by a scammer.
“I said, ‘I am going to refuse the sender. I’m not going to let you send that money. I think you are being scammed,’” Taylor recounted.
Taylor then told Rodgers to return home and call his children to check if his grandson really had been in a car crash, and as it turned out, in fact, his grandson was in college, safe and sound.
In such cases where scammers contact seniors, they are instructed not to tell their family members or the clerks in the store the reason for the money transfer. And it was exactly because Rodgers did tell her that her suspicions were aroused and the scam was foiled.
“Because his daughter hadn’t been contacted yet, I felt like if a son was in true need, the mom would have been contacted first before the grandpa would,” Taylor explained.
After Taylor’s manager, Dominic Gross, learned of her actions, he commended her.
“We are very happy with Audrella and all our customer service associates who help in that manner,” he said, then adding that they will be training cashiers to look out for signs that a person might be the victim of a scam.
Rodgers also thanked Taylor for her help in saving his $2,000. “I don’t have much,” he said.
Watch the video below and warn the elderly in your life about frauds!