OCEANSIDE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Nassau County police say a thief tricked an elderly woman not once, but three times in the same day and got away with thousands of dollars.
According to detectives, an unidentified man went to the home of the 81-year-old Oceanside woman on Monday. He reportedly contacted the woman, saying her son had been arrested for injuring someone in a car accident and needed $7,500 in bail money.
Nassau police told CBS2 the scammer first called the victim around 11 a.m. Monday. When she went to the bank and withdrew that, he called a few hours later and asked her for $7,500 more. Then later that evening, a third call was made – this time scamming the woman for $30,000.
The thief arranged to pick up the cash at the senior’s house. Home surveillance cameras even captured the 81-year-old appearing grateful to hand over the money.
In total, the senior gave the scammer $45,000 to the man who claimed her son had struck a pregnant woman’s car and killed the unborn child.
“That’s about brazen as you’re gonna get. This individual is disgusting to me. He preyed on her because she’s 81 years old,” Nassau County police commissioner Pat Ryder said.
The woman later realized it was a scam after speaking with family members. Neighbors told CBS2 she’s a friendly woman who’s been in their Oceanside neighborhood for a while.
“It’s a shame… It’s a lot of money for her,” Ron Bernstein told CBS2’s Reena Roy.
Authorities are now warning others in the area to be extra cautious. With elderly phone scams on the rise, police are reminding people to call 911 if someone makes manipulative claims of kidnapped or arrested family members.
The suspect was driving black four-door sedan and is described as about 5-foot-9 with a stocky build and glasses. Police are asking the public to share his image to help put him behind bars.
The Federal Trade Commission says people 70 and older are increasingly being scammed and the criminals do their research. Scammers are allegedly using social media to learn more about their targets.