Cab driver prevents further damage in gift card scam involving 87-year-old woman

Cab driver prevents further damage in gift card scam involving 87-year-old woman

A Quincy Police officer helped to prevent further damage in a gift card scam involving an 87-year-old victim.

The Quincy Police Department posted on Facebook about a driver named Richard Spencer, who had picked up an 87-year-old woman who had asked to be taken to Walmart.

There is still good in this world - and he works here in Quincy. Yesterday, while working his shift for Yellow Cab,...

Posted by Quincy Police Department on Thursday, February 7, 2019
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The driver, working for Yellow Cab, was told during the ride that the woman needed to buy more gift cards for her grandson, who was supposedly in trouble.

"She was an elderly woman and she purchased two $2,000 gift cards," Spencer said. "I think it's the most reprehensible scumbag crime you can do."

Another driver told Spencer that the woman had gone to a store earlier and bought two gift cards, each with a value of $2,000, and Spencer immediately brought the woman to the Quincy Police Station with the belief that the grandmother had been scammed.

“I said I believe you’re being scammed and we’re gonna try to save you some money," Spencer said.

The woman told police she got a call from a man identifying himself as her grandson, saying he was in a car accident and needed her to send him gift cards to prevent him from going to jail.

The man gave her specific instructions to call a cab, go to a specific store and buy two gift cards before calling back and giving the gift card and pin numbers.

"This, ladies and gentlemen, is a text-book 'Grandparent Scam,'" police said in their post. "While the victim in this scam may be out $4,000 (which is a substantial amount of money), it could have been much, much worse."

The cab driver's kindness didn't end there, as he drove the victim to a bank to try and help even more.

"“The bank manager took care of business and closed her accounts," Spencer said. "Hopefully it was soon enough.”

Spencer said he's hopeful Home Depot can help cancel those cards, and said the incident hit home on a personal note, helping to spring him into action.

"I have an 87-year-old mother," he said.

Police sent out a warning to cashiers and others working in stores, pleading for them to make sure gift card sales make sense before completely them, asking for employees to ask questions to try and prevent further scams.

"Thank you Mr. Spencer for caring," police said. "You could have chosen to remain silent and ignore the signs. But you didn't. And for that we say THANK YOU."