Scamming; Scammers that Scam the Most Vulnerable – A Day in the Life of a Hospital Volunteer.
I volunteer to drive vulnerable patients to their hospital appointments. I do this on behalf and to support the ambulance service. We use our own vehicles and do not get paid for our time.
This hub is to alert people as to how scammers can operate. They target the most vulnerable in order to sustain their own life style. They don’t care about the consequences of their actions; all they are interested in is their own greed.
The following is an account is of an incident that occurred whilst I was volunteering. Names of places and people have been changed for confidentiality reasons, but the incident is based on fact.
Your opinion counts. Was it a scam? I think it was.
There was fraught discussion with the neighbouring car.
Miss White is a 16-year-old dialysis patient. She comes from a single parent family who struggle on benefits. Her mother is her primary carer and cannot work because of her daughter’s needs. The family, therefore, have lots of financial, emotional and health difficulties.
Miss White had an extra appointment after her dialysis and so the pickup time of 1.30pm was running 1 hour later than planned. Miss White's mother and escort was sitting in the front reception area awaiting her return.
I moved the car out of the temporary bay outside
the children’s hospital and awaited a car parking space in the main hospital
opposite. The mother was made aware of my make of car, colour and my
I noticed that a large number of approximately 6 people boarding silver people carrier and I 'indicated' my intention to park on their exit. There was a delay of approximately ten minutes as I noticed a female sitting in a blue Peugeot estate, seemingly, in a fraught discussion with the neighbouring people carrier.
The carrier was
parked facing the children's hospital to the right of the Peugeot,
driver's side. On its exit, I reversed my car to occupy the
space at about 1.30pm.
There was no real damage to report
My car was facing the main hospital, my rear situated toward
the children's hospital.
The female in the Peugeot seemed to just be waiting. There didn't seem to be any concern associated with awaiting a patient. She had a disabled badge in the car but didn't seem to have a disability. She appeared pregnant however.
As my patient was later than expected, I was on the mobile phone to my husband. Childcare had to be rearranged due to the delay. It was approximately 2.30pm when Miss White and her mother came to my car. As they approached the car from the back, I hadn't noticed their arrival.
Normally, I would open the
doors and ensure that they were safely tucked into the back. There was no
opportunity to do this at this time as they had already opened the doors before
I had a chance to move from my drivers seat.
As Miss White was sitting in I heard her say "Sorry". I thought this was aimed at me because she ran late. I reassured her that it was all right and not to worry. I then realised the comment wasn't aimed at me, but the neighbouring car. It appeared that Miss White had touched the blue Peugeot estate with the rear passenger door.
The female driver of this
car displayed a heightened angry emotional state directed at Miss White.
Her mother went to talk to the driver. There was an accusation and demand
for money. She claimed there was
excessive damage. The mother gave her details to the female driver
who wrote this and acknowledged her responsibility to pay, should there be
any damage incurred.
I reported the incident to control. I assessed the damage. There was a smudging of white paint dust on the door of the rear passenger, driver’s side. I own a white Peugeot diesel estate. After I had wiped this away, there were two hairline surface marks - one measuring 8mm, the other 4mm. I attempted to take a photograph of said damage, but as it was so insignificant, it showed nothing up on the pictures.
I ran my hand over the area and could feel no indentation. I used the mobile phone light to look for further evidence of damage, as the lighting was rather dim in the car parking area. There was nothing to report. The ‘so called’ damage was nothing more most people would endure parking at a supermarket. Most of us would not even have noticed.
The tiny mark made could easily buff out with a bit polish. The damage was superficial and insignificant.
This is one of many well known car insurance scams
I have sought advice from an insurance
specialist and this is an example of an old scam. Scammers will wait
in various parking spots and hope that some unsuspecting vulnerable person will
simply give them cash to avoid insurance claims. This is well known in
the insurance industry.
Was it a scam? To summarise:...
- The driver had been waiting for at least 1 1/2 hours for apparently nothing seems odd to me. Why would an apparently pregnant woman stay out in the cold for no reason?
- The driver had already conversed for an extended time to a neighbouring parked car on their boarding before me seems strange. The body language was not welcoming which suggests it wasn't a friendly encounter. It might even be construed that she was attempting the scam with them.
- The driver didn't know the make of her own car. This may suggest that this car may have been borrowed or stolen. It would be a very concerning display of mental health if the driver were genuinely forgetful in this.
- Why would a person with a disabled badge be parked in a smaller bay in the first place? There are specially designated bays for disabled people. These are reserved for easier boarding access. This is of special concern if the woman has plenty of time to wait for such a bay to become vacant.
- The woman was far too quick to act and accuse. It was as if she was waiting for it. She was very attacking to my patient and was hostile to her mother who was confused as to what the issue was in the first place. The behaviour, therefore, suggests a technique to catch vulnerable people when they are not aware.
Please note there are CCTV Cameras.
The moral of this incident is to be constantly aware of potential scammers.
Scamming is far more widespread than people think. Scammers will prey on the most vulnerable whenever there is an opportunity to make a quick buck. If anyone approaches you, be aware that they might be scamming you and proceed with caution.
Fraudsters, like scammers, are not fussy as to where the money comes from as long as they get it.
So, make your mind up. Is it a scam?
© This work is covered under Creative Commons License
More Community Hospital Volunteer Stories? Take a peep at these!
A Working Progress
Was it a scam or wasn't it?
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