Authorities this week detailed the Emergency/Grandparent scam and the Green Dot Money Pack scam.
By Forum Staff
Community Affairs cops at the 106th Precinct issued a Fraud Crime Alert this week on the command’s social media platforms to warn area residents of the two most common scams crooks are currently employing to pilfer money and/or identities.
Authorities said it all comes down to confidence.
“[Thieves] gain your trust and when they have you hooked, they ask you for money; they take it and run,” the officers wrote. “The scenarios they use to lure you in constantly change. But you can protect yourself and your friends and family by arming yourself with the knowledge of the most common types of fraud.”
First is the Emergency/Grandparent scam. This scheme, like so many others, plays off people’s emotions and strong desire to help others in need.
“Emergency scams come in all shapes and sizes,” according to the NYPD. “There’s the Grandparent scam where con artists contact the elderly claiming to be their grandchild, urgently asking for money.”
Police also warned of the similar Social Networking scam where crooks hack into social networking accounts and then target friends with frantic requests for money, claiming injury, arrest, etc.
The Green Dot Money Pack scam has been perpetrated by many for many years. The crook calls a potential victim, claims to be a “marshal” or “agent” from the Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, State Lottery, or utility company officials from Con Ed or Verizon, calling about a past-due balance that is owed. The caller will tell the victim that unless the debt is paid immediately, a team of officers will come to the victim’s home that day to arrest them.
The scammer will also request that the “IRS Tax Warrant” be paid with a Green Dot Card Money Card or Western Union MoneyGram. They also often use caller ID spoofing so that the victim’s box indicates that the “Internal Revenue Service” is calling, or displays the phone number of the IRS. Sometimes scammers will also ask victims for personal information such as a Social Security number in order to commit identity theft.