When Barry Stone received a call instructing him to assist Scotland Yard with an investigation by withdrawing £12,000 of his savings and handing it over to a taxi driver, he thought he was doing his public duty. When a taxi driver turned up at Mr Stone’s home in Marlow, Buckinghamshire expecting to pick up a customer, but instead was asked to deliver a box to an address in London, he suspected something was amiss. Lucky for Mr Stone he did, for little did the 78 year old know, he was being scammed. Izy Rashid of Neales of Marlow picks up the story, “We got a phone call from somebody in London by the name of Gary to pick someone up in Marlow,” said the 37-year-old taxi driver. “We thought it was a bit suspicious because when we got there he (Mr Stone) just gave us a box. My colleague brought it back to the office but then I took it back to the gentleman.” Mr Rashid got in touch with the police before returning the box, which contained £8,000 in £50 notes and £4,128 worth of Euros, to Mr Stone. Mr Rashid continues, “At first he said ‘No, it’s aftershave for my son’ because that’s what the scammers had told him to say. We later released they had rung him, claiming to be from the Met Police. 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.” Speaking about how he was duped into handing over all that money, Mr Stone said: “You just believe them sometimes, don’t you? You think you’re helping people out…you think the police are phoning, you don’t register.” But thanks to Mr Rashid and his taxi firm, the scammers did not get away with it. ”He’s a wonderful man and friend now, a very, very good friend,” said the retired cabinet maker. “I’ll start using his taxis now.” Mr Rashid is very much the reluctant hero however, “I don’t think I’m a hero. It’s just immoral to take somebody’s money…I’m just happy I was able to stop this man from losing his entire life savings, simple as that.” Spoken like a true hero Mr Rashid.
October 29, 2017