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A pensioner has had his life savings returned to him after a quick-witted cabbie noticed that he was being scammed.
Barry Stone, a 78-year-old from Marlow, Buckinghamshire, had been contacted by scammers claiming to be from Scotland Yard, who convinced him to take £12,000 ($15,677) from the bank and send it via taxi to an address in London.
"We got a phone call from somebody in London by the name of Gary to pick someone up in Marlow," said the taxi driver, Izy Rashid.
He continued: "We thought it was a bit suspicious because when we got there he just gave us a box. My colleague brought it back to the office but then I took it back to the gentleman. At first he said, 'No, it's aftershave for my son,' because that's what the scammers had told him to say. We later realised they had rung him, claiming to be from the Met Police."
Barry was beyond worried. "I didn't sleep afterwards and I couldn't eat at all, it was such a lot of money. I feel so relieved now - I can have something to eat no, no problem," he told the Metro.
"They say they want the money because it's got fingerprints on it and it's somebody at the bank. They might be able to catch them and you believe them. However, never again."
"It makes me look so foolish," he said. "I was rushing about, I went for my flu jab, came back at about 1.30pm. I hadn't had anything to eat and then you think the police are phoning, you don't register."
Barry was very grateful to his conscientious driver.
"He's a wonderful man and friend now, a very, very good friend," he explained. "I'll start using his taxis now. I'm going away in a few weeks time and flying from Heathrow so I'll make sure I use him then. I'm really angry that people can do something like that though, rob you and take your money - targeting old people as well."
Izy agreed. "How can they do that? I was brought up to respect my elders so I'd never, ever dream of doing something like that," he said.
"They wanted him to go to his bank and get all the money out of his account and they would check the fingerprints of the money. So he had taken it all out, put it in the box, and then they told him not to tell anyone what it was about."
All things considered, Izy doesn't think that he did anything that anyone else wouldn't have done. "I don't think I'm a hero," he said. "It's just immoral to take somebody's money, especially someone so old and fragile. I'm just happy I was able to stop this man from losing his entire life savings, simple as that."
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