Because the elderly are so vulnerable and sometimes unaware of scams, they can be easy prey for scammers. Unfortunately, that is what happened to loving grandfather Cecil Rodgers.
In Dec. 2017, Rodgers got a call from a man who claimed to be his grandson. He claimed he was in a terrible car accident and needed help. Another man, purporting to be an attorney, called Rodgers and requested that he send a large sum of money if he wanted to help his grandson.
“A voice comes on and says, ‘Papaw, this is your oldest grandson. I’m in trouble,'” Rodgers recalled. “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’ lawyer told him he needed to go to a local Walmart and pay his bail bond with a $2,300 direct store to store money transfer, WCPO9 reported.
Rodgers said the supposed lawyer told him, “I’m going to try to get him out so he can drive home.”
So Rodgers did as he was told and went to the Evendale Walmart to withdraw $2,000 from his bank account to send the money as quickly as possible.
However, he got on Audrella Taylor’s line, and she decided not to let him transmit the money. Instead, she casually asked why Rodgers was wiring so much money, and immediately realized he was being scammed.
Taylor has spent the last five years working at Walmart and has seen a lot in that time. Rodgers was about to make a costly decision, and she didn’t want him to lose so much money. So she decided to take action to help the elderly man.
She told WCPO 9: “He said something about somebody was locked up in jail. He got a call, and he needed to send $2,000. 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 advised him to return home and check with his children to see whether the crash was real. Shortly after that the man realized there had not been any crash and his grandson was safe at college.
“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 said.
Scammers frequently tell customers not to inform their family or any store employees of what they are up to since they might try to stop them. In a panic that their loved ones are in danger, relatives sometimes act without thinking, resulting in significant financial losses. Rodgers experienced the exact same thing.
Taylor questioned if any other family members had been contacted, and Rodgers confirmed that he had not. According to Spotlight, his daughter and his grandson’s mother were unaware of the accident and did not ask for any money.
Taylor’s quick thinking was praised by Walmart store manager Dominic Gross.
“We are very happy with Audrella and all our customer service associates who help in that manner,” he said. He added that cashiers are now trained to recognize warning indications that someone transferring money or purchasing huge sums of gift cards is being scammed.
Rodgers also appreciates Taylor’s help in saving him $2,000 and his family’s Christmas.
“I don’t have much,” he said.