BLOOMINGDALE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — People in several New Jersey towns in Bergen and Passaic counties have been warned to be on the lookout for suspicious deliveries.
As CBS2’s Christine Sloan reported, the suspicious packages have the residents’ correct address, but someone else’s name on them.
One Bloomingdale, New Jersey resident was afraid to show his face as he talked with CBS2 about what happened. He got a suspicious package from UPS with someone else’s name on it.
“You know your mail is to be your mail,” he said. “We realized the package wasn’t ours; opened it up; it revealed it was a phone.”
A short time later, a stranger knocked on the man’s door.
He said the stranger asked him, “‘Was a package delivered? Was a package delivered with this name on it?’ I said no.”
When asked if the stranger seemed violent, the man said, “I didn’t give him the opportunity; never opened the door.”
The man took the package back to UPS and called police. Two other incidents were also reported in Bloomingdale, including one near Ballston Street and Park Avenue.
The resident there opened the door, which police said you should not do.
“I would probably fall for it,” said Jean Weir of Bloomingdale. “I would probably think, ‘Oh, it was delivered to the wrong house; here — have your package.’”
Authorities believe the scam is widespread — happening in three other towns in Bergen County. A suspect, Duany Perez-Clemente, allegedly told detectives as much.
Perez-Clemente was nabbed in Rochelle Park with iPhones in his car after trying to get a package from a resident.
Investigators said he is part of a scheme on the East Coast based in the Dominican Republic, where the alleged offenders are accused of scamming the insurance company by fraudulently claiming stolen or lost cellphones.
Police said the phones are then sent to various addresses, where runners such as Perez-Clemente pick them up.
Bloomingdale police Detective Robert Grabowski said residents should not be nervous or concerned at this time.
“Just give us a call if you do have a package,” Grabowski said. “There have been no threats or anything like that to any of our residents in town.”
Grabowski also advised that you get a good description so police can put an end to the scam.
Bloomingdale police as of Friday were still looking for a suspect, saying he was in a blue minivan.
The phone insurance company involved, Asurion, confirmed to CBS2 News that it is the company being scammed, and the representative said the company is working with federal and local investigators. The company said it cannot comment on an ongoing investigation.
But the company did say the scheme is a result of identity theft across the country, and said customers are not liable for fraudulent claims.