An alert Polish taxi driver averts a scam in which an elderly woman could have lost about $36,000

WARSAW, Poland — An alert tax driver prevented a scam in which an elderly woman would have lost the equivalent of about $36,000 for a phony bailout of relatives from jail, police in southeastern Poland said.

According to a police statement, a caller in the city of Rzeszow instructed the driver last week to collect a package from an elderly woman and deliver it to an address that would be sent to him. He was to be paid 2,000 zlotys ($510) for the delivery.

The driver collected the package from a 76-year-old woman and was on his way but became suspicious when the client kept calling and asking if everything had gone well and if he had picked up the package.

He contacted the local police, and the officer on duty “immediately knew it was a fraud” and told the driver to “turn around and come straight to the police station in Rzeszów.”

The police said the parcel was a carefully taped up shoe box that contained 140,000 Polish zlotys ($36,000). The package was returned to the woman.

According to the police, a caller had told the woman that her son-in-law had fatally hit a pedestrian with his car and the money was urgently needed to bail him out of jail.

The woman later told the police that she had heard about such scams but the caller was so persuasive, she believed him.

The police did not identify the woman or the taxi driver.

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