PORT CHESTER, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A suburban mom is using social media to warn her neighbors about a scam that gave her a fright and cost her some money.
It involves people targeting drivers, falsely claiming “you hit me.”
It happened to the woman in a Port Chester shopping center parking lot. She says as she was pulling out of a spot, suddenly a man pounded on her window yelling “you hit me!”
He showed her a shattered phone he claimed to have dropped when he was struck, demanding compensation on the spot.
“It’s a bit worrying,” Rye Brook resident Sarah Duven said. “When I read it I thought I must be a bit more careful when I’m in the parking lot.”
Thousands of people have read the woman’s account which was posted to Facebook. She wrote she was flustered, and gave the man some money to pay for the broken screen. When he insisted it wasn’t enough and she had to go to to an ATM, she said she was calling the police.
The man cursed at her and left.
“We’ve gotten several calls, and obviously it’s all over Facebook,” Port Chester Police Chief Richard Conway said.
The department says they’re investigating the reports, and have developed some leads. They’ve also stepped up patrols at the shopping plaza. Experts say scammers often use urgency and intimidation as tools to fluster their targets. So if someone pounds on your car claiming “you hit me,” it’s a red flag.
“I think the less interaction people have with individuals like this, the better,” Chief Conway said. “Again, we’re a phone call away.”
Police believe there may be other victims out there, and urge them to report what happened if they’ve been targeted. Oftentimes, police say the scammer in these cases has an accomplice who claims to have witnessed what happened.
Again, it’s always best to dial 911.