A grandfather, Cecil Rodgers in Ohio, was looking forward to spending Christmas with his adult grandchildren until he got a call from one of them.
“A voice comes on and says, ‘Papaw, this is your oldest grandson. I’m in trouble,'” he said.
“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 said.
A grandfather who loves his grandchild wouldn’t think twice of doing all he could to help if there was an emergency. One grandfather thought his grandson was in trouble, so he hurried to help as fast as he could.
Rodgers’ grandson put a lawyer on the phone who said he needed to go to a Walmart in suburban Cincinnati, Ohio, and do a direct store-to-store money transfer of $2,300 to another Walmart in Bel Air, Maryland. That would then pay his bail.
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 instructed, withdrew $2,300 from his bank and headed for Walmart.
Rodgers told the story to Taylor, a cashier at Walmart, 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.
A cashier at Walmart began getting dribs and drabs of the story when Rodgers came up to make the transfer. Audrella Taylor listened to Rodgers’ story and quickly became suspicious. She refused to transfer the money.
“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 said.
Taylor told him to go home and call his children and find out if there had really been a crash. There hadn’t been one. It turns out his grandson was safe at college.
Taylor said that was the red flag.
“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,” she said.
Walmart store manager Dominic Gross commended Taylor for quick thinking.
“We are very happy with Audrella and all our customer service associates who help in that manner,” he said, explaining that they now train cashiers on the warning signs that someone transferring money or buying large amounts of gift cards is being scammed.
Rodgers is thanking Taylor, too, for saving him $2,300 and saving his family’s Christmas.
“I don’t have much,” he said.
A lot of people think they or their loved ones are too smart to get tricked into giving up money or personal information to complete strangers, but scammers are in business for a reason.
When you get a phone call or email from someone demanding money or personal information like your credit card number, bank account number or social security number, it’s best to take a deep breath, step back and turn to someone you trust for help.