Taxi Scam Targeting Seniors May Be Headed Our Way

January 27, 2011
Your Better Business Bureau is warning consumers, especially seniors, to be aware of a scam that is being perpetrated by crooks in Jamaica and may soon come to our region.

Essentially, the consumer gets a call from a person in Jamaica (area code 876) offering huge sums of money. However, before the consumer can receive the money, they are instructed to wire a specific amount of money to the caller to cover “processing fees.” This is a common scam where the victim never receives any cash and instead loses money because they have sent his or her own money by wire service to an unknown party.

Until now, seniors were thought to be relatively safe because the act of making a wire transfer usually requires going to a bank, withdrawing cash and then finding a place where to wire the money. Because seniors often have limited transportation issues, scammers didn’t target this segment of the population.

However now a team of scammers in Jamaica is contacting local taxi companies and making all the pickup arrangements so the senior can complete the steps necessary to wire the money. There is absolutely no evidence that any cab companies or their employees are privy to the scam. To them it appears to be a normal business transaction: A call comes into dispatch and a cab is sent out.