A Californian taxi driver has received a Great Citizen Award after saving a 92-year-old woman from giving away her life savings to scammers claiming to be the tax man, local police have revealed.
The taxi driver, Raj Singh, was called to pick up the woman from her home in Sun City. En route to her destination, the bank, she told Singh she owed US tax authorities US$25,000.
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“This sounded very suspicious to Raj, so he suggested to the woman this may be a scam,” Roseville police department said in a Facebook post.
Singh told CNN the woman revealed someone rang her from the ‘IRS’ - the Internal Revenue Service, which is the US version of the ATO - claiming she owed money, and he convinced her to let him call the number back.
“We called this number again and I asked the man, 'Do you know this lady?' He said no," Singh said. "I knew something was wrong.”
He was hung up on – but the woman still wasn’t convinced.
“She didn’t believe him. Raj pleaded with the woman to reconsider so they agreed to stop by the Roseville Police Station to ask an officer,” the Roseville police station’s post stated.
Singh requested to speak to an officer who then spoke with the woman waiting in his taxi. Finally, she believed she was being scammed and decided not to pay the scammer.
“We love this story because several times throughout, Raj could have just taken his customer to her stop and not worried about her wellbeing,” the post stated.
“He took time from his day and had the great forethought to bring the almost-victim to the police station for an official response.”
Singh received a US$50 gift card from the Roseville police department for his actions – and a lot of praise from Roseville community members.
“Thank you so much for helping one of our community members! I can only hope someone would do the same for my grandmother!!!” one user said.
“Awesome job, Raj. Thanks for being persistent and doing the right thing to help,” another added.
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