Cab Co controller Steve Evans and driver Dave Love
A quick-thinking cabbie has foiled an attempt to con a pensioner out of her life savings.
Dave Love was booked to collect a package from a home in the St Martin's area of Canterbury and take it to London.
But he became suspicious after talking to the elderly woman, who seemed confused, and a man from London who had booked the taxi.
He said: "I wasn't happy. I had to call the guy who booked the cab to get help with her address and he had a strong African accent.
"Something wasn't right, so I called my controller at Cab Co and put the lady on the phone to him."
Alarm bells really started to ring when cab firm manager Steve Evans spoke to the pensioner and discovered the package contained her bank details and £4,000 in cash.
He said: "From time to time we are asked to deliver packages, so there is nothing unusual in that. But this was definitely dodgy.
"She told me that police had called her and said £4,000 had been taken from her bank and she needed to send the money to the man at Charing Cross station.
"I called the person who booked the cab and he had a different story and claimed to be her son – yet she was a frail old lady in her 80s and, judging by his accent, he was a young African man.
"I told him we wouldn't be delivering the package and I would be calling the police instead. Then he became very abusive."
Mr Evans and members of the pensioner's family then took her to the police station to report the incident.
Mr Love, 33, who lives in Wincheap, said: "It's appalling that someone would target an elderly woman like this. I'm sure that if he had got hold of her bank details, he would have emptied her account. I'm just glad we helped prevent it."
DC Mark Agnew, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: "Fortunately those involved in this incident became aware it was a scam and contacted the police.
"The police will never call you to ask you to withdraw cash or give any information about your bank accounts over the phone.
"If you are not sure whether an unexpected caller is legitimate, ask them to call back later after you've had a chance to verify what they’re saying or to ask someone you trust to be there when they call back.
"If you think a crime is in progress, call the police on 999."
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