ROSEVILLE (CBS13) — A compassionate Roseville cab driver is being hailed as a hero for helping save an 82-year-old veteran from becoming the victim of a costly scam.
Joel Carstens drives for Yellow Cab of Roseville and was dispatched to pick up Bill Miller at his home. He said the first sign something was wrong was the call requesting a pickup.
“We got a call and it was to go pick up a friend,” Carstens said. “Our red flags go off all the time.”
Carstens added, “Well, he got in the car, and then what happened next, he showed me he had $8,000 cash.”
Miller told him he was going to make a deposit.
“They wanted me to put $2,400 in this account,” Miller said. “It was from Publisher’s Warehouse.”
“So I said, ‘well, Bill, what are we doing? ’” Carstens said. “And he said, ‘well, you know.’ He said something about Publishers Clearing House, so right there, I knew exactly what was going on.”
The scam artists had set up the cab ride, counting on Carstens to deliver Miller to a bank he’d never gone to before, to make a deposit in an account had he never set up.
The promise was millions of dollars and a Mercedes.
“And if anything sounds too good to be true, it is,” Carstens said.
Carstens took a detour and drove Miller to Miller’s actual bank instead. He even walked him inside the branch to talk to a teller.
“I told him he was a hero,” Miller said. “Then when I went into the bank, other people heard what happened and came up and shook his hand and said ‘Thank you very much for helping.’ “
This Vietnam vet’s hard-earned savings were saved by a conscientious cab driver.
“Don’t fall for this stuff,” Carstens said.
Roseville police advise anyone who gets a call like this to always check with a trusted adult for help, and if there isn’t one available, you can call police for help, too.
“If it sounds too good, it’s bad,” Miller said.