When Deputy John Garrison noticed the speeding driver, he immediately flicked on his blue lights and began to follow her car.
He was tailing a female driver in her 50s, who was oblivious to his frantic signals. She was purposely ignoring him. And for a good reason…
John was frustrated with the driver. Why wouldn’t she just stop? Why was she ignoring a police car?
But when he saw the woman’s face, he knew something was awfully wrong.
The woman had a phone in her hand, and she couldn’t stop crying. “Is everything okay?” John asked her, hoping she would tell him what was going on.
“Yes,” she quietly replied. ”I’ve got Amazon on the phone…”
Suddenly, it all made perfect sense to John. And he knew precisely how he could help her.
John asked the woman to hand over her phone, and she complied. He took the phone and began talking to the person on the other end.
John told the person that he was her son and asked what they wanted from his mother.
The man on the other line explained what he needed her to do, and John realized that his gut instinct was right. The woman was in danger.
The person had told the woman that she needed to contest a $2,000 charge on her Amazon account. And if she wanted to get her money back, she had to buy an eBay gift card with a blocking code.
But to get the code and the card, she would need to put an additional $200 onto it.
The scammer had promised her that she would be reimbursed for the fee as soon as her account details were verified.
“Just let them know it is for your personal use… don’t say anything like it is for Amazon or anything… otherwise… your money will get wasted,” he said.
“Ok, so don’t mention… don’t mention it’s for a scam?” John asked the person on the other hand. After an awkward pose, the man repeated the instructions to him again.
John decided to confront the man. ”I actually pulled her over for speeding and intercepted your scam.” What would the scammer say now?
The scammer quickly got angry with the police officer, knowing that he wasn’t going to get any money from this woman now.
“You should be ashamed of yourself because you’re not doing your job properly,” he told John.
“You are the scammer. You are the scammer,” he kept repeating. “You are not doing your job properly!”
Then, the man hung up the phone. Relieved, the woman thanked the officer for pulling her over. Had he not stopped her, who knows what would have happened to her.
“She thought she was saving $1,800 by doing that. The way he explained it was she would get the $200 paid back,” John said in an interview.
But the woman still had a speeding ticket to pay…
John said he immediately knew the woman was a victim of a scam.
He had worked on many reports on cellphone scams before and knew exactly how to spot a scammer. But would he be able to find and punish this person?
Sadly, there wasn’t much John could do to locate the scammer. He was probably living in another country and using a disposable phone number.
But there was something he could do to help the woman.
John waived her $200 speeding ticket and gave her a warning instead.
“You won $400 today!” he told her. The woman was grateful and promised him she wouldn’t speed again.
John says that he has been in touch with the woman and they are planning to host a presentation for people in their community.
Their goal is to educate people on how to identify a scam and prevent them from losing their hard-earned money.