An alert Walmart cashier has been credited with saving a man from being bilked out of $2,300 in a holiday scam (video below).
Cecil Rodgers went to a Walmart store in Cincinnati, Ohio, intending to wire the cash to his grandson, who had been involved in a car crash and was in jail, according to WCPO.
Except, the man who called Rodgers and told him of the emergency was not actually his grandson at all.
Rodgers, who was looking forward to spending Christmas with his extended family, including his adult grandchildren, was taken by surprise by the call.
"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," he said.
Rodgers said a man who claimed to be a lawyer then came on the line and instructed him to go to a local Walmart and do a direct store-to-store money transfer to pay his $2,300 bail. The faux lawyer then told Rodgers, "I'm going to try to get him out so he can drive home," according to WCPO.
Rodgers followed instructions, withdrawing the cash from his bank and driving to the Walmart in Evendale, Ohio.
Luckily, the line that Rodgers entered to complete his transaction belonged to five-year Walmart employee Audrella Taylor. When she heard Rodgers' story, she immediately became suspicious, reports Newsner.
"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.
Instead, she told Rodgers to go home, call his children, and find out if there was any truth to the story. Turns out it was a scam. His grandson was safe at college.
The reason so many of these scams are successful is that the victims, usually seniors, are told not to tell anyone what they are doing, including other family members or employees at the store, reports WCPO.
Rodgers' story was a red flag for Taylor.
"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.
Rodgers appreciates Taylor's decisive action on her suspicions that he was being scammed.
"I don't have much," he said.
Thankfully, Rodgers has $2,300 more today than he would have had if not for getting into Taylor's line at the Walmart.