HICKSVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — There’s another phone scam targeting the elderly for cash.
The Nassau County Police Department says this one has a new twist, but in this case, the senior was even smarter, CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported Wednesday.
On Tuesday at approximately 12:45 p.m., the 78-year-old victim received a call stating that his grandson was arrested for DWI.
The only problem, according to Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder, was the victim didn’t have a grandson. However, the caller added a new element to the scam.
“He gave the number of what he said was the district attorney’s office,” Ryder said.
The victim was told to call that number to verify, which he did.
“If he wanted to get his grandson out he would have to get $9,700 in cash for bail,” Ryder said.
But then he made another call.
“The 78-year-old victim being a retired law enforcement contacted the First Squad,” Ryder said.
Police said undercover detectives arranged to meet 38-year-old Miguel Torres Ferreira of the Bronx at the Greene Turtle restaurant on Hempstead Turnpike in East Meadow to pay the supposed bail.
“The subject reached out to receive the envelope from an undercover detective. As the envelope was passed they arrested and took the individual down,” Ryder said.
Gainer spoke with security expert David Katz about what we can do to protect ourselves and loved ones.
“I would advise people to be suspicious of anyone calling you and asking for money and certainly asking for any personal information like your Social Security number, bank information. Do not give it out,” said Katz, CEO of Global Security Group. “People who are legitimately, for example, are calling for someone who might have been incarcerated are not asking you for money like that anyway.”
That advice was echoed by Chief Ryder.
“If you have neighbors, if you have a family member who is elderly, contact them, speak to them. Let them know they should be talking to you before they give anybody money,” Ryder said.
Police say scammers are using social media to find victims and gather information on them and family members. They add to call police to verify a call that’s asking for money.