Not all heroes wear capes. Some drive taxi cabs.
A California cab driver became suspicious when he began chatting with his 92-year-old passenger, only to discover she was on her way to withdraw $25,000 in cash to settle an IRS debt. From KTLA:
Rajbir Singh picked up a 92-year-old woman in Roseville, California, two weeks ago. When he started chatting with her, Singh said she told him she was about to withdraw the money to settle a debt with the IRS.
He pleaded with the woman to reconsider, saying he thought this could be a scam. Singh even detoured to a police station to help convince his passenger not to withdraw her money.
“I am an honest guy, and these are old people. They need help,” Singh, the owner of Roseville Cab, told CNN on Thursday. “It just made sense.”
As Singh talked to the woman, she told him that someone had called her and asked for the money. When he asked if it was a family member, the woman grew silent.
Singh said the woman agreed to let him call the number to the person who was posing as an IRS employee.
“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.”
Singh said the man hung up on him, and after repeated attempts to reach the man again Singh’s number was finally blocked.
But the passenger still could not bring herself to believe the thoughtful cab driver, so Singh decided to take her to the closest police station and see if they could speak to an officer about the incident. An officer was able to convince the woman that she was being scammed, and Singh drove her home.
“We love this story because several times throughout, Raj could have just taken his customer to her stop and not worried about her wellbeing,” Roseville police said in the Facebook post. “He took time from his day and had the great forethought to bring the almost-victim to the police station for an official response.”
Roseville police said Singh deserved a “great citizen award” in a statement.
“His quick thinking saved a senior citizen $25,000 and for that, we greatly appreciate his efforts,” police said.
A few days later Singh was summoned to that same police station where officers gave him a $50 gift card for his quick thinking and kindness.
As the digital age has increased the ease of life, it has also made certain groups of seniors quite vulnerable. For those who simply have not been able to catch up to modern communication, a phone call or letter from someone claiming to be an authority can be very persuasive. There was a time not very long ago when that was the main mode of communication. It isn’t uncommon for seniors to be duped while trying to do the right thing. Singh’s heroism is a wonderful reminder to us all to be good stewards of our careers and the spaces we live and work in, and to follow our instincts when we sense trouble.
America thanks you, Mr. Singh. You and people like you make this country great.